Pubdate: Fri, 01 Sep 2017
Source: Winnipeg Sun (CN MB)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Jason Friesen
Page: 11


Province announces Overdose Awareness Day at rally at Legislature

Moms Stop The Harm hosted their second annual gathering to honour
loved ones lost to addiction and overdose on Thursday at the Manitoba

The Manitoba government announced at the event that August 31 would be
International Overdose Awareness Day.

The news for grieving parents like Carol Ward, who lost her daughter
Lisa Erickson to overdose in April, is seen as a step in the right
direction. But Ward believes more needs to be done.

"I can't come up with $18,000 to send my daughter to a detox centre,"
said Ward, who wishes she could have sent Lisa to the Aurora Recovery
Centre near Gimli for rehab.

"There's no reason why a 40-bed treatment centre in Gimli should be
almost empty.

"The government should be funding it, or at least part of it, because
it comes down to my daughter dying or me finding $18,000."

According to a study in 2014-2015 from the Canadian Institute for
Health Information, Manitoba sat at 10.8 hospitalizations for opioid
poisoning per 100,000 people, the second lowest rate in Canada.

The story was different for alcohol hospitalizations, as Manitoba sat
at 248 per 100,000 people, which was above the national average of

But the numbers mean nothing to the mourning families until they reach

Ward thinks a good place to start helping addicts is not letting them
become one. Her daughter became an addict from her pregnancy, when she
needed to be on morphine for months, and Ward knows there are many
people like Lisa who have become addicted from health care
administered drugs.

"Many of them are people who have had surgeries or injuries and have
been put on opioids for pain and now they're addicts," Ward said.

"There needs to be more done to help these people get off of those
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