Teen overdoses spur Kamloops mom into action - InfoNews

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Teen overdoses spur Kamloops mom into action

FILE PHOTO - Naloxone with needle and kit in background.
June 30, 2020 - 7:00 AM

Kamloops mom Corally Delwo was shocked when she heard her son’s longtime friend had overdosed from smoking marijuana that was allegedly laced with something deadly.

“He’s one of my son’s very good friends that he’s gone to school with since Grade 1,” Delwo said. “I was very taken aback by the fact that a child who had frequented my home on a regular basis, and is like another child of my own to me, had been given fentanyl-laced drugs.”

He survived, but shortly after  a 15-year-old girl died from an overdose that family and friends believe was caused by fentanyl-laced marijuana.

“I was really concerned about the fact that in my son’s groups, there are kids smoking marijuana and they're not buying it from a legal dispensary, obviously,” Delwo says.

“I thought about this for quite a few days and I was humbled about it that it wasn’t just a street problem. It wasn’t just an issue with people on the streets, it’s actually happening to our children and people in our community … it was quite alarming to me that this is now in the hands of our teenagers.”

Delwo held her first information session on  Naloxone Friday night at Westsyde Centennial Park. There, a harm reduction nurse and representatives from ASK Wellness taught about the signs of a drug overdose, what to do if you see one, how to administer Naloxone and how to talk with kids about drug safety.

Delwo, who ran for Kamloops city council in 2018, says she became very aware of the severity of the overdose crisis in B.C. and specifically Kamloops. She says she encourages open communication with her teen son and older daughters and encourages other parents to do the same.

“Experimenting with drugs is kind of a teenage thing and I think it’s important we all educate ourselves… it’s not just the homeless. We’ve had issues with lots of people who are prominent in the community who have overdosed. I think people are starting to wake up to the fact it might not be a street thing, it’s something in our community.”

Delwo reached out to various neighbourhood Facebook groups to invite parents and teens to the session tomorrow. She says around 50 Naloxone kits were on hand to be given out at Friday’s event and expects there will be the same number of Naloxone kits for tomorrow.

Although Delwo looks forward to being able to educate members of the community, she’s looking into making a longer-lasting solution to help teens who have witnessed an overdose.

“I’d like to have a group of parents that would be willing to do some sort of volunteer work where we either put signs in the window or kids know who we are so they can come to us if there is a serious problem but they don’t feel safe just knocking on anybody’s door,” Delwo says.

The information session begins tomorrow, June 30 at 6:30 p.m. in Westsyde Centennial Park and is expected to run for about an hour and a half, depending on the length of the question and answer period. Those interested can meet at the covered tables near the spray park. Social distancing is encouraged.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler 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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