As elsewhere in the country, the opioid crisis is still raging in Alberta. With thirty other people, Samuel Stordy was invited to share his experience and propose solutions to this public health problem.
After passing through nine overdoses, mostly fentanyl, the 27-year-old has been sober for over three years.
If his family has always been behind him, his biggest challenge has been getting support from the Alberta health system.
"Fighting an addiction is hard enough, but fighting for help and getting rid of your problem is impossible," he says.
For example, Mr. Stordy says he waited days before meeting a psychiatrist.
It's easier to consume.
According to him, waiting times to have a place in a rehab center or to meet a specialist have only worsened his condition.
However, speaking about his experience on Friday, in front of Jason Luan, the Associate Minister for Mental Health and Addictions, the former drug addict hopes to improve the health care system and save lives.
According to government data, in 2018, 673 people died in Alberta after consuming fentanyl, 100 more than the year before.
Develop a strategy
For Minister Jason Luan, it is important that the solution to the crisis comes from the community.
"Everyone has a role to play. That of the government is to unite forces and set goals, "he thinks.
He added that he will keep in mind Friday's testimony to develop a health system that will help prevent overdoses.
His government has also made several announcements on this issue since coming to power in April.
Among them, an expert committee was created to evaluate the impact of supervised injection sites in the province. The group is due to report by the end of the year.
The United Conservative Party is also considering joining BC in its class action against pharmaceutical companies for their role in the opioid crisis.