Petra lost her youngest child Danny to an accidental Fentanyl overdose in 2014. Danny was 25 years old. Danny loved to spend time with his family and friends, especially if it involved cooking a good meal. He was trained as a chef and worked in some of Edmonton’s best restaurants. He loved to play music with his friends, wrote some of his own lyrics and treasured getting together at the family cottage. Through the lessons learned from her personal experience and by sharing Danny's story Petra has become an advocate for drug policy reform aimed at reducing the harm associated with substance use.
Petra has spoken at harm reduction meetings in Edmonton and in PEI (2015), at a community symposium on Fentanyl (Edmonton, 2015) and the Fentanyl Conference for first responders and police (Edmonton & Calgary, 2016), at Overdose Awareness Day events in Edmonton (2015 & 2016), and at a research symposium (CRISM Prairies, Calgary, 2016). Every school year she shares her family’s experience and what she has learned with nursing students at MacEwan University and the University of Alberta, as well with community groups and other parents.
As a member of the Access to Medically Supervised Injection Services Edmonton (AMSISE) working group, she contributes to development of this harm reduction approach in her home city. In this role she, and other members of the group have met with senior officials of the Government of Alberta, Alberta Health, Alberta Health Services, the City of Edmonton, Edmonton Police Services and many other community stake holders. Petra hopes that the expansion of harm reduction services in Alberta and the rest of Canada will leave a lasting legacy in memory of her son Danny. Danny felt strongly about organ donation, now he is donating his story.
Danny Schulz, January 13, 1989 - April 30, 2014.
Promote and implement a public health approach to drugs, based on evidence and human rights.
Support harm reduction as a key component of a comprehensive response to drugs to prevent drug related harm and death.
Support the decriminalization of possession of drugs for personal use as essential to a public health approach.
Restrict access to the components and equipment used in the manufacture and trafficking of illicit drugs.
(Adapted from documents by the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, 2016, and Drug Policy Alliance, 2016)