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iN VIDEO: New documentary focuses on opioid crisis in Kamloops

Troylana Manson in a demo reel of a docu-series, Finding A Way Forward.
Image Credit: YOUTUBE

A demo reel showing the first part of a documentary film series about the opioid crisis has been released, with its focus on the streets and communities in Kamloops.

The opioid crisis is a result of multiple complex factors, and is claiming lives at an increasing rate every year since the province declared a state of emergency in 2016.

Resident Dawn Koch in partnership with Mastermind Studios is working to shed light on the issues of drug overdoses, homelessness, crime, and struggling businesses that are plaguing the city in Finding A Way Forward – A City in Crisis.

“Kamloops is at the crossroads between a safe, enjoyable place to live and a storm of crises,” Koch said. “Much work has been completed and continues to be done to alleviate the pressure, but compassion fatigue and polarized opinions are flaring like wildfires.”

READ MORE: Motion to study recovery centre near Kamloops defeated by city council

Part 1 of the series features a mother whose son died of drug use in 2021, and an emergency room doctor at Royal Inland Hospital, who talk about the benefits of safe supply.

“Good people from all walks of life, with and without addictions, have families that care for and love them,” mother Troylana Manson said. “They don't deserve to die from a poisonous supply of drugs. Stigma is preventing progress. Safe supply is the only thing at this time to begin this change on so many aspects of the overdose crisis.”

The docu-series seeks to create a compassionate and broader understanding of the challenges and possible solutions to the crisis.

“Kamloops has been burdened with forest fires, floods, an epidemic, a drug crisis, homelessness, criminal activity and a business downturn,” Koch said. “Extreme pressure has been put on our policing, healthcare, businesses, and individual citizens are extremely concerned.”

Finding A Way Forward is a six-episode project needing funds and awareness to bring it to life.

Koch is accepting donations toward the continuation and development of the project through her mentorship program, AIMCanada Mentorship Society.

In October 2021, there were 201 suspected illicit drug toxicity deaths, the largest number of suspected deaths ever recorded in a month according to a B.C. Coroners Service Report.

The 1,782 suspected illicit drug toxicity deaths between January and October 2021 are the highest ever recorded in a calendar year. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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