Pubdate: Mon, 20 Feb 2017
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: Sean O'Leary
Page: A4


In light of the recent death of popular Kanata teenager Chloe Kotval
from an apparent drug overdose, and warnings from Ottawa police and
Ottawa Public Health about counterfeit prescription drugs they suspect
have been the cause of "recent life-threatening overdoses" in the
city, on Saturday, concerned father Sean O'Leary posted an emotional
Facebook message about teen drug overdoses in Kanata.

Below is the text of his message:

To all whom are concerned, As many if not all of you are aware from
news reports a beautiful 14-year-old Kanata girl passed away this week
as a result of a drug overdose.

What hasn't been reported as of yet is that Chloe Kotval was the third
Kanata teenager to die of a drug overdose in the last eight weeks.
Many of you that are receiving this initial email are aware of this.

The two other children that have died were a 17-year-old girl and a
16-year-old boy. At this time the families of these two other children
do not want the publicity of having their children's names and causes
of death known and unless I am told otherwise I will respect their
wishes. If I know of three in Kanata you can be assured there are many

My 16-year-old daughter Paige is also a drug addict/abuser. I feel so
sad for the parents of the children that have died. But even worse
than the sadness I have for them is the fear I/we and many others live
with every day that is so real.

My first thought every morning is to check that Paige is

It is a nightmare of a way to live life especially when you have other
children and have to try to make their lives as normal as possible.

Paige has been an addict/ abuser for about 20 months. Our family dealt
with it the best we could with the limited resources that are
available to families in situations like ours. The nightmare that we
have lived for 18 months was nothing compared to the nightmare our
lives turned into starting on December 31 at 10:30 p.m.

At that moment I arrived home to find a 17-year-old boy dead in my
garage. Thankfully I arrived when I did and that one kid was not high
and she had called 911, we performed CPR, eventually got his heart
going and then the paramedics arrived. I put a post on "Bell's Let

Since then I can't even to begin to explain what we have been through.
I personally know the names of eight Kanata teens whom have overdosed
in the last two months

Sadly, the deaths that have occurred are only the beginning. If you
look at statistics from any other communities where the kids started
getting hooked on counterfeit opioids the prognosis for our community
and our children does not look promising.

The point of this letter is not to discuss my family's problems and/or
the problem in general. Most of us know there is a problem.

We have spent thousands upon thousands of dollars on psychologists,
counsellors etc. etc. Our daughter has spent 10 weeks at the Dave
Smith Youth Treatment Centre.

I have locked her at home, chased her around, grabbed her off the
streets, walked in to people's homes uninvited to take my daughter out
of there, we have had paramedics and police to our home numerous
times. But here we sit not knowing day to day whether our beautiful
little girl will be alive tomorrow.

I have talked to a few parents of other addict/abusers in Kanata and
their stories are all the same. I do not know the answer nor am I any
closer to finding the answer than when I first started seeking it.

I do know that when any of us have questions or need help having 2
families asking is better than one. Having 10 families is better than
2 and so on. The only people that really know what is going on are the
kids and they need help.

My goal is not to try and solve the drug problem.

It has been going on for many decades but never before right now have
the drugs been indiscriminately taking our children's lives.

I do not know how many families are suffering the same fate as us
right now but I know there are many.

The first thing I would like to do is have a meeting with as many
parents of addicts/abusers as I can find. We have all experienced the
futility of dealing with this scourge on our own. We the parents of
these kids and future kids need to unite for ourselves and for our

Please forward this to as many people you know whom have teenage kids.
I will keep all replies confidential unless permission is granted otherwise.

If they want to come to the meeting great or I can send them notes
after our discussion. Primary focus will be making sure everyone is
aware of what resources are available, what treatments are available,
use of Suboxone and if it is working. Ottawa Health will give us full
support and supply Naloxone kits, training, etc. Then we can have an
open discussion of ideas, questions to be asked, etc.

The days of the saying "They need to hit rock bottom before getting
better" are over. Sadly in most cases today rock bottom is a slab at
the morgue.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt