Fentanyl Strategy

** Listen to Dr. Darryl Gebien on the SayKnow Podcast here**

THEY are losing the war against the fentanyl epidemic. This is NOT just a big city problem. It is hitting everywhere. In Canada, it started off in BC... and has moved relentlessly and insidiously, eastward across our nation. 

Fentanyl takes no prisoners. The Fentanyl Tsunami is here, and is here to stay unless appropriate action is taken. Just as  an example... four days ago the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Program warned of a concerning spike in suspected Fentanyl overdoses in the Barrie-Muskoka area. Over a two week period in February 2018, they saw 44 overdoses in local hospital emergency rooms. This spike was reported to be DOUBLE their previous norms. 

The current defensive regime employed by our government is simply not working. Our teen and young adult children are at serious risk. Don’t you think it's time to do some out-of-the-box thinking? 

The CURRENT strategies are simply NOT working. THEY have neither,  reversed  or stemmed the ongoing tide of opioid carnage. 

Addiction is a complex disease. In order to properly address the problem, one must understand the problem. I have lived the problem and have stared death in the face... Based upon my medical background and my lived experience as a (recovering) Fentanyl addict I believe that there are workable solutions, all of which are summarized in the enclosed pictorial representation. 


Copy of Stopping the Fentanyl Crisis Together- Gebien.jpeg

1.   WE MUST ADDRESS   the current media fallacy that the face of the opioid addiction crisis is limited to marginalized individuals living in our city cores. From my perspective, the plight of the disadvantaged downtown (opioid dependent) population,  only represents the tip of the iceberg. 

2.   WE MUST ADDRESS the current belief that Naloxone will somehow reverse  addiction and the resultant overdoses and related deaths. Naloxone ONLY addresses the issue of OVERDOSE harm reduction. It is only a first step in terms of dealing with the larger issue of addiction harm reduction. Although critically important, Naloxone does not  stop or address the cyclical nature of opioid  addiction. We must consistently consider and utilize   all available harm reduction options including Naloxone and other drug agonist and opioid replacement therapies.

3.  WE MUST INSTITUTE  a seamless addiction recovery process that includes a flow from emergency (Naloxone) overdose recovery... to detox ... to rehab... to after care. The failure to follow this flow invites the certainty of relapse, which will inevitably  lead to overdose and a high probability of death. 

4.  WE MUST IMMEDIATELY CURTAIL  the vilification  of opioid dependent persons as blameworthy criminals. Addiction is not a moral failure. It is a disease in which the central feature is impaired control over the use of the addictive substance {SCC} . It is a disease of systemic abuse relapse. 

5.   WE MUST REPLACE  THE CURRENT SUPPLY of toxic street opioids with pharmaceutical grade OPIOID  replacements.  THIS STEP ALONE WILL SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE ALL ACCIDENTAL OVERDOSES AND WILL PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR CHANNELING USERS TO DRUG DETOX AND REHAB. 

8.  WE MUST REFOCUS OUR ATTENTION TO THE  ISSUE OF “MENTAL HEALTH” WHICH IS THE BACKBONE OF ALL ADDICTIONS. 

9.   WE MUST DIRECT OUR ATTENTION TO OUR VULNERABLE YOUTH and YOUNG ADULTS. We desperately need youth and young adult peers who have lived addiction-recovery experience,  to act as youth/young adult mentors and rehab ambassadors. 

10.  WE MUST PREVENT the facilitated birth of our next generation of opioid addicts, but NOT at the expense of patients who are opioid dependent for pain remediation.  HOWEVER,  WE  MUST SIMULTANEOUSLY change the medical communities belief that they are failures unless they  can “medicate  away” all pain. People must learn to live with a certain level of pain and find alternative (non pharmaceutical) treatments for pain mediation. 


These solution WILL LEAD to the changes that we need. WE CAN STOP and REVERSE  the ravages of this socially devastating opioid epidemic. 

Please share this solution. 

Please feel free to contact me in order to provide your input.

WE CAN DO THIS TOGETHER. 

** Listen to Dr. Darryl Gebien on the SayKnow Podcast here**