How a conversation can save a life
But even as the SAIT community mourns the loss of one of it’s own to a suspected overdose, it’s important not to lose sight of how important it is to talk about drugs.
Health Canada reports that seven per cent of youth between 15 and 24 admit to using recreational drugs, like ecstasy.
That means more than two million Canadians are still indulging in substances that are known to have deadly side effects, even without having other substances cut into them.
Health Canada states that ecstasy can cause severe dehydration, a rapid spike in heart rate and blood pressure leading to heart attack or stroke, and overheating.
Maybe, just maybe, if the people you cared about knew the risks, some of the 47,000 annual deaths linked to substance abuse could be avoided.
Talk to your kids, siblings, friends, or parents about their habits, because their drug use doesn’t just affect them.
The parents of each one of the recent tainted ecstasy deaths will have to live with the pain of losing a child for the rest of their lives.
It costs the government, and society, a lot of money. According to drugabuse.gov substance abuse in the United States costs upwards of $ 600 billion annually.
And, to some extent, those costs could be mitigated by a simple discussion.
Information regarding the side effects of drugs has become increasingly available since the heyday of substance abuse in the 70s.
Ever since then drug use has become less and less common, with substance abuse in Canada falling four per cent among 18-to 24-year-olds between 2004 and 2008.
One could argue that this is because people are more aware of the risks and people are discussing it.
There are lots of resources available for those concerned with the substance abuse of those around them.
The web has resources you can use to learn more about the side effects of common recreational drugs and where to go for treatment.
You can also see your family doctor for advice about talking to the ones you care about.
Don’t let drugs ruin, or end, the lives of the people you care about. Something as simple as a conversation can prevent the kind of tragedy that took the life of too many young adults in this city.