A Langley anti-overdose team is bringing their message to local businesses, hoping to reach workers and employers with a message about risk.
Responding to Overdose in Langley through Education (ROLE) is a project of the Langley Community Overdose Response Committee, headed up by Danile Snyder and Arianna Wingfield.
The duo has created a presentation that can be given to workplaces over lunch hours or breaks.
The reason they’re reaching out to workplaces, Snyder said, is simply that most of the people suffering fatal overdoses have been people with jobs and homes.
“The Corner called it the hidden epidemic,” Snyder told Black Press.
Many of the people who have suffered a deadly overdose have died because there was no one nearby to call 911 or administer drugs to counteract an overdose of opioids.
Stepping away from the stereotypes of drug addicts is necessary, said Snyder, who battled addiction himself in the past.
“Always held a job, always had a vehicle and a place to call home,” he said. He concealed his addiction from most people.
Addicts aren’t always homeless and scruffy, and many drug users are recreational, or are abusing pain medications.
“The educational component is primarily to reduce stigma and create awareness,” he said.
ROLE wants to warn people, as Metro Vancouver, including Langley, sees a major overdose crisis. Heroin, cocaine, and other illicit drugs are routinely laced with fentanyl, a dangerous and potent opiate that is responsible for the vast majority of fatal overdoses in B.C. in the last two years.
ROLE’s presenations include:
● Statistics and background on the overdose crisis
● The impact of the crisis on Langley City and Township
● Stigma awareness on attitudes towards drugs, addiction and overdose
● General information on the toxicity of the drug supply in B.C.
● How to recognize and respond to an overdose
To sweeten the deal, and help gather people in, ROLE offers a catered lunch or snacks for the employees of businesses who host their presentation.
They can speak for between an hour and half an hour, depending on how much time local groups have, said Snyder.
The program runs through Stepping Stone Community Services Society.