Letter: Speak Loud We Have to “END THE STIGMA”


Thunder Bay – OPINION – November 19th marks the 2-month anniversary of our beloved daughter Dayna’s death due to an unintentional drug poisoning. Dayna would be so thrilled and grateful to see the support from members of our community who have begun to highlight this issue in the local media.

Unfortunately, it is becoming apparent that the local media attention may not be enough to make an impact on key policy makers in Toronto and Ottawa.

This is both frustrating and heartbreaking, but we will not let this issue go away until regional treatment options approach the levels seen in other areas of Ontario.

Why is this so important and how does this affect you?

The local news is filled with reports of violence, theft and deaths attributed directly or indirectly from alcohol and/or drug addiction.

Reports of gang activity from “down East” based on the drug trade leading to violence and murder should scare all of us – it is here because a market for their products exist.

Enforcement and punishment is one approach, of course, but for most of us, it feels like we are not able to make an impact on this, Locally, the TBPS is doing it’s best, but the response from the courts coupled with resources available to the criminals makes the issue seem insurmountable.

While we await continued enhancements on the fight against supply, as a group, we believe we can be most effective on the demand side of the issue. Let’s take those who desperately want to get sober and make their journey at least a bit easier and more sustainable.

You may or may not know that addiction programs require a person to be detoxed before they will accept them into treatment.

Did you know that the Balmoral Centre (Detox Centre) must turn away 3000 individuals per year?

Three Thousand People!!!

Detox is excruciating. When treatment is denied or delayed, resolve often crumbles leading the patient to find relief through their drink or drug of choice, which leads to a cycle of hope and despair. This is what we are trying to change,

In order to help make this change, we have formed the DEK Foundation in Dayna’s name. For those aware of this, we thank you for your continued support.

For those friends and neighbours who may not be aware of this, we need your help.

How can you help?

1) Please follow us on social media.
– Facebook : Facebook.com/Carolyn.karle
– IG : @tbaydemandsdetox
– Twitter : @tbaydemanddetox

2) Join our team! Please contact me on Facebook Messenger.

3) Advocate alongside the DEK Foundation with community leaders, elected representatives and people of influence to bring about change. Each single voice might be tiny (as evidenced by the lack of response from the provincial government thus far) but the more voices we have, the harder it will be to be ignored.

Even if your immediate family has not been directly impacted by drug or alcohol addiction, I guarantee that you know someone who needs or will need these services.

I encourage you to get involved, advocate, speak up & speak loud.

We have to “END THE STIGMA”.

Carolyn Karle


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