A Community Fentanyl Forum planned for next week will give locals a chance to learn about the opioid crisis.
Tracy Pelgrim, overdose prevention nurse with HIV North, says people need to understand how these issues are taking hold in Grande Prairie.
“There are a lot of people who are aware of the crisis we’re in, but a lot of people who aren’t,” she said.
“It gives the opportunity for parents and everybody really to bring out their friends and family and get up-to-date on what’s going on in our city.”
Pelgrim says fentanyl has become a more prevalent issue over the years.
“It is not people at risk who are using it. It’s your average person. They may not know that they’re using it,” she said.
“We’re finding it laced in different substances as well, including in cocaine, crystal meth, and it’s even laced in marijuana these days.”
Among preventative measures and combative plans are having people like Pelgrim in the community to educate, as well as the work being done with naloxone kits.
“We do the take-home naloxone program. We have given out over 1,000 kits from our office (this year), as well as what’s given out at local pharmacies.”
She said the information and help is there for those who are interested.
“People can come to our office anytime. Our staff is now trained to give training on naloxone,” she said.
The Community Fentanyl Forum will take place at the Bowes Family Crystal Garden at Revolution Place, and will allow agencies and the community to discuss the ongoing crisis.
The event is on Tuesday, November 14, at 7 p.m. Registration is not required.
Pelgrim invites people to come out and make sure they’re aware of what’s going on with the opioid crisis.
“Make yourself aware. Education is key. If you can learn one thing and pass it onto another, then more people can become aware of what the crisis is,” she said.
She said education for kids is especially important.
“What people don’t know does hurt them.”