“The Urgent Need to Address Opioid Crisis in Custody: Learnings from Tragic In-Custody Death in Saskatchewan”

In-custody death in Saskatchewan sheds light on overlooked victims of the opioid crisis, demanding urgent attention and reform.

Shedding Light on the Opioid Crisis: In-Custody Death in Saskatchewan Demands Attention

Original Article by The Globe and Mail

Post last updated on [insert date here]

Keywords: Opioids, Opioid Crisis, Opioid Class Action, Homeless, Crime, Naloxone

In the ongoing response to the opioid crisis, society must not lose sight of individuals who may be more easily overlooked in the wider narrative, including those in police custody. Today, we are reflecting on an impactful article from The Globe and Mail that discusses an upcoming coroner’s inquest in Saskatchewan. This inquest aims to understand more about a tragic in-custody death linked directly to the opioid crisis.

The Tragic Incident

Heartbreaking Reality of the Prison Environment

This inquest draws us into contemplating the reality for individuals battling opioid addiction and engaging in criminal activity. In this case, a man under the influence of opioids perished in police custody, emphasizing the extreme risks associated with opioid use, particularly in environments where medical help may not be readily available or sufficient.

Addressing Holes in Our System

This incident illustrates the pressing need for evaluating and refining our policies and practices when dealing with individuals under the influence of opioids in custody. Policymakers must consider strategies that not only aim at preventing opioid-related deaths in the general population but also specifically targeting the incarcerated population.

What Can We Do?

Opioid Class Action

The need for a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to the opioid crisis is glaringly apparent. One such tactic is the opioid class action suits. This legal approach aims to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for their role in the opioid epidemic. Similar to the historic tobacco settlements, these suits could potentially result in significant financial penalties that could fund resources for combating the crisis.

Naloxone Deployment

Naloxone, a drug that can quickly reverse opioid overdoses, should be widely available for emergency use within both the general public and law enforcement. Ensuring widespread knowledge and availability of naloxone can dramatically reduce the number of fatalities associated with opioid overdoses.

Support for the Homeless

Communities need to strengthen support for those most vulnerable – the homeless, and individuals in custody. This includes increased funding for homeless shelters, drug rehabilitation programs, and mental health resources.

Key Points to Remember

  • Opioid use increases the risk of fatality, especially in environments where medical help may not be immediate or adequate – like police custody.
  • A coroner’s inquest is necessary to understand the circumstances leading to these tragic, preventable deaths, and learn from them.
  • Opioid class action suits aim to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for their role in the opioid crisis, potentially generating resources to fight the epidemic.
  • Naloxone, a lifesaving medication, needs to be extensively available within the public sphere and law enforcement for emergency opioid overdose reversal.
  • Support for vulnerable communities, such as the homeless and individuals in custody, through funding and resources is crucial.

Closing Thoughts

As we examine the opioid crisis in Canada, we must adapt our perspective to encompass our vulnerable populations, including the homeless, individuals in police custody, and those struggling with addiction. Inquests like the one in Saskatchewan illuminate the grim intersection of opioid addiction and carceral settings, demarcating a neglected area that demands immediate action and reform.

The opioid crisis is a complex issue, requiring a comprehensive strategy that holds accountable both the pharmaceutical companies that mislead the public about the risks of opioids and the systems failing to protect and provide adequate care for our most susceptible individuals. Together, we can build a system that upholds justice and compassion throughout our communities.


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