A couple of weeks ago, Joe died of an overdose.
There are only stories, but it is almost certain that he died accidentally from a fatal dose – one laced with Fentanyl, a hugely powerful and deadly synthetic opiate that finds its way into heroin and numerous other illegal drugs. It kills in terrifyingly small amounts.
Joe (I won’t mention his last name, though many around town will know who I am writing about) was a very decent guy, a talented musician, and was trying to kick. He waited an instant too long.
But Joe is not the only recent casualty here on the Sunshine Coast. Word on the street is that at least two other folks, all homeless and clients recently of our homeless shelter, have died as a result of overdose in the past couple of weeks alone. More will surely come. Welfare and disability cheques are out in two days. The drug dealers will come to town, right on schedule, victimize the vulnerable, and people will die. Mark my words.
Your publisher wonders why these deaths have gone largely unnoticed by the public at large. The use of opiates is far more prevalent than most folks know, and the contamination by Fentanyl of heroin and other drugs more is common than is popularly understood.
Is there a reason the Mounties don’t release information about overdose deaths? Up-to-date warnings about lethal drugs on the street. If so, then why?
I leave it to the publishers of our good local media to explain (if asked) why such deaths go ignored in print or over the airwaves. Why these stories go unreported. Why vulnerable people die in such numbers – amid the growing wealth and glitz of our Coast.
What I know is this: A celebration of life for Joe will be held in the next couple of days. I’ll be there, as will a lot of other folks who found out about his passing only through the grapevine.