Salmon Arm  

State of emergency declared

A B.C. Interior First Nation has declared a state of emergency over the growing fentanyl crisis.

The deadly drug has been responsible for a record number of overdoses.

The Secwepemc Elders Council expressed concern over the crisis in February and has since declared a state of emergency, calling upon band leadership to take immediate action.

The chiefs of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council have responded by committing to a co-ordinated approach to address the overdose crisis.

“It is important that all members within our communities are given the resources needed to be adequately informed on the issue of fentanyl. Prevention and awareness are critical for our members, their families, and the community to effectively combat this crisis,” said Tribal Chief Wayne Christian.

The chiefs are calling on the First Nations Health Council, Interior Health Authority, RCMP and other resources to work in partnership on the problem.

Immediate action needs to be taken to inform citizens of the presence of fentanyl in street drugs, the symptoms and probability of overdoses, the chiefs said.

“Addictions do not discriminate, and this fentanyl crisis is deadly ... it takes lives regardless of age and with only one-time use. Get educated on how to prevent this from killing your loved ones,” said Christian.

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