Send your letter to the editor via email to editor@langleyadvancetimes.com. Please included your first and last name, address, and phone number. (Black Press Media files)

LETTER: Saanich councillors work toward solution to overdose crisis

I was so heartened to read that Saanich councillors Ned Taylor and Karen Harper are proposing to have Saanich council take action on the overdose crisis.

Looking at a country like Portugal for solutions would be very welcome here in Saanich and across our country. Portugal used to be the heroin capitol of Europe but has become the model for how to deal with addiction. Harm reduction, decriminalization at the federal level, publicly available treatment programs, and treatment of people with addictions as having a health problem and not criminals are part of the solution.

There are many details which cannot be explained in a short letter. After going to expensive private pay treatment and spending years in and out of recovery, my grandson, like many others, died alone of a fentanyl overdose.

I have since joined Moms Stop The Harm to try to implement some of these strategies that are proven to work. Our group is asking all municipalities to call on the federal government to declare the overdose crisis a national emergency, decriminalize drug possession for personal use and develop a national plan. Perhaps they could follow B.C. in having a ministry of Mental Health and Addictions.

Thank you Ned Taylor and Karen Harper for trying to be part of the solution. I hope more politicians will follow your example.

Dave Connell

Saanich