Encampment death a stark reminder of Hamilton’s spiralling opioid crisis

Before police raided a grassy area of ​​a street north of Hamilton on Monday afternoon, the body of a man was found on the street. tent and was lifted into an ambulance.

He was in his 30’s and died of starvation overdose.

Those who live in camps on Strachan Street, near Bayfront Park, said he had only been there for six weeks, kept to himself and did his own thing.

But this misunderstanding did not make it easy to see him emotionally.

Eric Bouchard, a resident of the hospital, said: “It makes you anxious misasa from the end of August. “It can happen to anyone.”

The man’s sudden death is a recent legend in the local opioid crisis.

As of June, there were 85 people who have already died or confirmed opioids here this year, according to recent city numbers – putting Hamilton at risk of more deaths in 2021 than in 2020, of which there were 124 records.

For first responders, a condition the floor has been unprecedented.

By Wednesday, Hamilton will be hospitalized he replied 804 suspected opioid overdose by 2021 – much older than the last four years. In 2020, it answered 565, 596 calls in 2019, 450 in 2018, and 430 in 2017.

In August, with calls rising sharply every 109 months, paramedics were responding to about five suspected cases of overdose a day, chief medical officer Dave Thompson said at the time.

“We continue to see the effects of the opioid crisis in the city of Hamilton,” he added Tuesday. “We are working with our community partners and organizations working together to address the opioid crisis.”

It is not known how many rang their cell phones at the camps. But proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.

“There is a lot of desperation in the homeless,” he said Dr. Jill Wiwcharuk and the Hamilton Social Medicine Response Team. “I do not think of anyone who does not feel like being outside when the temperature drops below zero and wants to be inside.”

The growing number of high-risk populations in the city has been boosted by residential areas, he added, and more recently. court decision which also allows the city to move tents in public parks.

“I visit the camps several times a week, and all the time, I talk to people who want to stay inside, who want to find a place to stay, who want to get what they have inside,” Wiwcharuk said. “But there is no place for them.”

There is also the matter of drugs and street pollutants making their way to inexperienced users.

The COVID epidemic has severely disrupted the supply of medicines worldwide. As a result, retailers began making cocktails of toxic chemicals, plus some deaf ones life-saving naloxone, to keep their goods. When taken in the hands of unsuspecting victims, the effects can be immediate and deadly.

“All sales are toxic at the moment,” he said Rebecca Morris-Miller, founder of the Grenfell Ministries faith-based organization, which uses the 24-hour telephone to prevent alcohol-related deaths. in Canada.

But bad drug groups are nothing new, said Morris-Miller. He said its secret is a program to reduce harm and a safe injection site that protects users.

“Paying sellers does not save anyone. We have to pay politicians, who know what they are supposed to do and who know what they are supposed to do – yet they choose not to do it.”

Sebastian Bron is a journalist at The Spectator. [email protected]

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