Vuntut Gwitchin chief says community in ‘dire situation’ with substance use crisis – CBC

Apr 24, 2023

‘We truly need to look at expanding the scope of care,’ said Chief Pauline Frost

Pauline Frost, chief of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation in the Yukon, says her community is no different from many others in the territory right now as it grapples with a substance use crisis.

‘We’re in a dire situation, like most Yukon communities,” Frost said.

“We’ve seen a significant rise of opioids in our community. We’ve had a few opioid deaths associated with toxic drugs — not in community, but with citizens of our community.”

Last week, the First Nation became the latest in the territory to make an emergency declaration. It’s intended to recognize the substance use crisis in Old Crow and among members outside the community, to make a call for action, and to mobilize resources to respond to the crisis.

“In that statement we defined some protocols,” Frost said. “And that is to look at prevention, education, harm reduction. Looking also at treatment and recovery support. We truly need to look at expanding the scope of care for addicts.”

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