#LifeWontWait National Day of Action on the opioid crisis

Edmonton February 21, 2017

Petra Schulz' comments at the National Day of Action in Edmotnon

Moms Stop the Harm is standing in solidarity with AWARE and CAPUD because we know, that lives wont wait. Our group has grown to almost 100 in less than a year and most of us either mourn the loss of a loved one, or have who is seeking recovery or both. We are only the tip of the iceberg, as thousands of Canadian families have lost loved ones to drug policies that consider our children to be dispensable.

Every time a new mom/dad/sister/brother of spouse joins us, it is a story of sadness and despair. Lives lost and the lives of those who mourn irrevocably changed. I feel a sense of urgency and panic with every family. I know it does not have to bee this way. The solutions are readily available. They range of simple and affordable harm reduction options.

The improved access to Naloxone is great and has saved many lives, why do people need to overdose in the first place? Why do people need to buy dangerous drugs on the street?
On the news we may hear about people being buried in an avalanche. Do we stand on that pile of snow and say, “Hey buddy, you made some bad choices, dig yourself out’? But that is exactly what we do with people who use drugs, without looking at the underlying issues, the trauma or mental health issues.”

We need access to safer substances for use and for treatment and we need supervised consumption services in cities, small towns, reserves and in jails. We need to teach young people how to stay safe because there are always people who use drugs. Primarily, we need to end a failed war on drugs that criminalizes those in need or care and support.

It has cost too many lives, and as a mom who will never her hug and hold her youngest child again, I tell you that Lives Wont Wait and neither will we.