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Aug. 4, 2023
One First Nation community in Ontario has officially declared a state of emergency due to an opioid crisis.
“In the last five years we’ve had over 45 deaths, drug-related to the opioid crisis,” Chief Veronica Smith, of the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation in Ontario, told CTV National News. “If we don’t start dealing with the problem, then it will only get worse.”
On June 26, during Chippewas of Nawash council meeting, the community declared a state of emergency as a result of the crisis’ overwhelming need for services and support, Smith explained.
Smith, who lost her son to a fentanyl overdose, knows first hand the toll this crisis is taking on families.
“His addiction just didn’t start over night. He had a long standing addiction that, over the years, was getting worse. And the drugs were getting worse. And the drugs are getting more addictive,” she explained.