Pubdate: Wed, 29 Nov 2017
Source: Winnipeg Sun (CN MB)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Candice G. Ball
Series: Let's Talk Drugs - Part 5 of 5


When Dalton Fredericks took Jesse, his 18-year-old son, to the
hospital because his son seemed dangerously high, he learned about the
stigma associated with opioid addiction.

"I took him to the hospital and I said, 'I want you to keep him here.'
I went home and after three hours, I got a call from the hospital that
they were releasing him," he said.

The nurse told Fredericks that his son had been doing drugs, but there
was not much they could do for him. He had the RCMP take Jesse into
custody because he feared for his safety.

When Fredericks' other son went to the hospital for a football injury,
the level of attention and care he received could not have been
better. "They treated him like a god."

As Fredericks watched Jesse spiral out of control, he began navigating
the resources available to help his son. He knew he would have to take
an active role because the help available at school and the medical
system weren't helping his son.

Jesse began experimenting with marijuana in grade seven. He struggled
with school, which his father believes, may have contributed to his
son's drug use. His parents had Jesse tested to try and identify the
cause of his struggle with school, but test scores showed that Jesse
didn't have a learning disability and he possessed exceptional verbal

Dalton acknowledged that although it's tempting to try and find a
neat, tidy explanation for youth falling victim to addiction, it's
likely a number of factors, such as underlying mental illness, peer
pressure and simply being a teenager without a fully developed adult

The problem with the drugs today is that one experiment can be fatal
because fentanyl can be so lethal. In 2014, Dalton found that the
organizations he turned to for help weren't able to respond quickly

Jesse told his father he wanted to get help. Dalton called the
Addiction Foundation of Manitoba on a Friday and was told that Jesse
would not be able to get in until Monday.

When an intake counsellor called Dalton back on Monday, Dalton said,
"It's too late. My son is dead." Jesse died on Saturday, June 14,
2014, at the age of 18 years.

Dalton speculates that Jesse was contacted by some friends he had not
seen in years and they asked him to come over for a bonfire. "The next
morning, everyone woke up except Jesse."

Manitoba government and recovery organizations striving to address
opioid crisis

Following Jesse's death, his parents grappled to come to terms with
how it could have happened and what they could have done differently.
"I was in a state of total disbelief. I was reading all the articles
even though it was too late for Jesse."

Ben Fry, the CEO of AFM, acknowledges that dealing with an overdose or
losing a child to opioid addiction often comes as a complete shock.
"We know that those who are impacted by an overdose or revived with
naloxone and other medical care may be shocked that this could have
happened to them. This holds true for loved ones and families that can
feel shame and fear when a loved one dies or overdoses with fentanyl.
This is a dangerous and potentially deadly drug."

He said AFM is striving to address the growing opioid crisis. "AFM
provided a provincial campaign in 2017 to bring greater awareness to
the challenges of fentanyl and other drugs along with education around
fentanyl and supportive resources in the province," said Fry.

AFM recently began a robust training program to ensure that employees
at AFM facilities are able to administer naloxone to people in need.
Training has now been provided to over 90 per cent of AFM's
residential facility staff.
AFM's medical director, Dr. Ginette
Poulin, has played a leading role in providing training around opioid
addictions to pharmacists, physicians, and nurse practitioners. Dalton
commends the efforts to address the opioid addictions, but has some
advice for parents whose child is in the throes of opioid addiction.
"Tomorrow could be his or her last day. Get a naloxone kit and be
prepared to sleep very little."

To honour Jesse's memory, his parents started Save Our Youth (SOY)
Foundation which offers a scholarship to grade 12 students who has
made a decision to overcome drug addiction. High school students can
apply at

SOY Foundation usually awards two scholarships a year, ranging from
$3,000 to $10,000. That money goes towards tuition, counselling and
basic necessities, such as clothing, in some cases.

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If you or a loved one needs help with an addiction, call the Manitoba
Addictions Hotline at 1-855-662-6605 or visit You
may also drop in to the River Point Centre, located at 146 Magnus
Avenue, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Addictions Foundation of Manitoba, Addictions Recovery Inc.,
Behavioural Health Foundation, Esther House, Health Sciences
Centre(Addiction Unit), Main Street Project, Native Addictions Council
of Manitoba, The Laurel Centre, Rosaire House Addiction Centre, The
Salvation Army (Anchorage Program), St. Raphael Wellness Centre,
Tamarack Recovery Centre and Two Ten Recovery. The partners range from
detox centres to evening, nonresidential, recovery-based programs.
Links to the resources can be found on


Opioid Deaths in Manitoba

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner reports on substance overdose
deaths. Opioids have been a primary or contributing cause of death in
approximately half of these deaths annually: 2013: 87 out of 162
deaths (54%) 2014: 94 out of 175 deaths (54%) 2015: 85 out of 182
deaths (47%) 2016 (Jan-Jun): 63 out of 124 deaths (51%) Data also
shows an increase in overdose deaths where fentanyl, including the
analog carfentanil, is present.

Hospitalizations due to opioid poisoning (Apr 01, 2015- Mar 31, 2016):

Intensive care unit admissions due to suspected opioid poisoning
(Jan-jun 2016): 10 (Winnipeg Health Region only)

Naloxone kits distributed through the Take-home naloxone
program(2016): Manitoba (total): 250 Naloxone kits shipped from
provincial Materials Distribution Agency warehouse (Dec 29, 2016- Jan
27, 2017): 395

*Source: Epidemiology & Surveillance Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active 
Living, The Government of Manitoba Source:


If you or someone you care about is at risk of opioid overdose, you
may drop in to the Street Connections office at 496 Hargrave
Street(Main Floor) Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and ask
to see a nurse about the naloxone program. You will be trained to
recognize the signs of an overdose and how to give someone naloxone.
You will receive a free kit and the entire visit should take less than
an hour. Street Connections' website features an interactive that
shows where take-home naloxone kits can be accessed for free. Visit
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