It’s no secret that Vancouver (and many other areas, but the DTES especially) have been hit with an insane amount of overdoses over the past while.
If you haven’t lost someone, you probably know someone who has..
And if you don’t.. well now you do.
( I lost one of my best friends. And currently have another childhood friend MIA for the second time in a year.)
I was asked why I didn’t just share the event/pages on Facebook, and the truth is that I would like to reach the many of you who subscribe to my website/follow my blog/support my art – and am fully aware that 80% of you are outside British Columbia, and 80% of that group is outside of Canada.
I won’t go into a long blog about this, because I think it’s really important to take notice and don’t want to chance anyone getting lost in the hundreds of articles that have been written about it – BUT – I will share a few quick facts & links and two ways that YOU can aid, even if you are not in the country.
- There were 914 apparent illicit drug overdose deaths in 2016, and overdose was one of the top ten leading causes of death last year. A state of emergency was declared by the government, but things are still moving fairly slow
- the Overdose Prevention Society is a group who formed out of necessity, ignoring the rules. They offer clean needles, food and basic medical care — including the administration of overdose prevention drugs such as Narcan — to people in immediate need.
- They are now operating two pop-up tents on the streets & making rounds of alleys to combat the overdose crisis that is turning Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside into a virtual ‘battle zone’
- A volunteer with the group noted that on Sunday night alone they saved seven lives in an alley near Hastings and Main streets.
- It costs about $150 a day to run the tents and the government will not fund the illegal pop-up sites. This is a direct action that matters!
“We don’t have to wait for the government. We don’t have to wait for red tape and bureaucratic anything. We can just do this and save lives,” Sarah Blyth, a volunteer with the Overdose Prevention Society.
So – how can YOU help?
If you are in Vancouver, you can attend one of many fundraisers going on, including the Safe-Injection Comedy Fundraiser happening TONIGHT at Pat’s Pub from 7PM to 11PM. (403 E Hastings Street.)
Tickets are $10, and all of the money raised will go directly to their responsive, life-saving work.
Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1748541448808374/
For those everywhere, the Overdose Prevention Society has started a GoFundMe to help with costs of operation.
Every little bit counts, and even if 15 people donate only $5 that is still one whole day that these people can continue. (In October 2016 it was estimated that about 100 people were served daily since opening around Sept. 21.)
GoFundMe link here: https://www.gofundme.com/wesavelives
If you would like to read more, here are some helpful links.
Overdose Prevention Society
Group Volunteer Editorial in the Georgia Straight –http://www.straight.com/news/807836/sarah-blyth-its-time-politicians-stepped-address-overdose-crisis-more-people-die
Thank-you for being a kind human ♥