B.C.’s First Nation families devastated by drug deaths – Times Colonist

Shirley Jones said she was devastated to learn that three young men in her family from the Tseshaht First Nation in Port Alberni died in recent weeks from suspected fentanyl overdoses.

“It’s heart-wrenching living this [crisis] at work and then hearing about these young people in my mother’s family,” said Jones, who is a custodian at Our Place Society on Pandora Avenue. An overdose-prevention site has operated at the site since 2016.

“Even here, I’ve seen young natives who were chronic alcoholics die from overdoses, and I had no idea they even used,” she said. “It was hidden.”

According to a report released Thursday by the First Nations Health Authority and the province, First Nations people in B.C. are five times more likely to overdose and three more times likely to die from an overdose than non-Indigenous people.

Read More: http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/b-c-s-first-nation-families-devastated-by-drug-deaths-1.21607165

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