'My knives are dull': Moms Stop the Harm activists demand action on opioid crisis
Advocate Petra Schulz says the delay on harm reduction measures— like a national commission, and approving supervised injection sites — is costing lives.
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Petra Schulz has dull knives in her kitchen now, and the opioid crisis is to blame.
In 2014, her son Danny, a culinary school graduate, died from an overdose. Schulz said before that happened he would sit in her kitchen and help his mother cook. He made sure her knives were always kept sharp.
“I miss those moments and my knives are dull since he’s gone,” said Schulz.
The Alberta woman, co-founder of a group called Moms Stop the Harm, came to Parliament Hill on Tuesday to call for the government to do more to address the opioid crisis.
She called for a national commission on the crisis, for the government to grant interim approval to all of the proposed supervised injection sites immediately, for a national campaign to end stigma and for the government to consult more broadly on changes to drug policy.
The government has approved many supervised sites across this country, but several more are waiting for approval.
Schulz said the delay is costing lives.
“When people are dead they don’t recover. We have to give them a chance to recover,” she said.
Schulz said the national commission could look at some of the harm reduction approaches the country could be pursuing right now.
“We really need to speak to the experts in the field. We have excellent researchers across the country who have shown what solutions work.”
She also said the need to reduce stigma is important, saying her own son died while in recovery and using drugs alone. She said people have to know it’s OK to talk about their problem.
“Everybody is somebody’s someone. They are somebody’s brother, somebody’s sister, somebody’s son.”
Edmonton MP Linda Duncan, who stood at Schulz’s side during the press conference, said it’s a national crisis that needs to be addressed.
“It's not just happening in the inner cities, it’s happening in the suburbs, it’s happening in rural communities,” she said. “It’s a crisis that is moving eastward across Canada.”