Alternatives Bolsters Fight Against Fentanyl

Posted on 06 October

(Langley, British Columbia) Spurred by the appalling number of fentanyl-related deaths taking place in British Columbia, Alternatives Funeral & Cremation Services® has announced the development of a program it will be presenting to as many schools, youth clubs, sports groups and church youth groups as possible in an attempt to curb the fentanyl overdose crisis.

In 2016 throughout the province of B.C., there were more than 900 recorded deaths due to drug overdose. Alternatives® owner, Tyrel Burton, likened that number of fentanyl-related deaths to having a student’s home room class wiped out every day for over a month. However, so far in 2017, there were 525 fentanyl-related deaths documented in B.C. between January and May alone – an increase of 109% over the same period in 2016.

The company’s presentation takes approximately 45 minutes to deliver and involves personnel from local victim services and parents who have lost a child or young adult family member to the ravages of addictive drugs, particularly fentanyl. 

Mr. Burton stated that as a company involved in providing funeral services, Alternatives® felt it could no longer tolerate the waste of young lives with which it was frequently being called upon to serve. He said, “Our funeral home alone serves 4 to 5 families a month who have had a loved one die due to a drug overdose. Frequently that drug is fentanyl. We felt that we had to do something to reach teens and young adults before they become addicted. This program is our response to what we see as a critical need. We greatly admire the many committed health professionals and emergency paramedical staff who deal daily with those addicted to drugs – most of which are laced with fentanyl. But where the emphasis in those cases is on harm reduction, our focus is on harm prevention.

The Fentanyl Prevention Program developed by Alternatives Funeral & Cremation Services® includes some powerful, perhaps even controversial, visual aids. The company brings a hearse and casket (to name just a couple) to the site of the presentation, reinforcing the fact that a decision to use drugs can, and frequently does, lead to death. Another powerful segment of the presentation is the reading of a letter from a father whose child died of a drug overdose, pointing out that the decision to use drugs doesn’t hurt only the user; it hurts the entire family, especially should that decision lead to a death from drug overdose.