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Amerindian Women Are Disproportionately Overdosing—Maybe It's Because they Look Like My Irish-American Aunt Ann?

First Nations women had 800% more overdoses: ‘horrific’ crisis’ new B.C. data

Aug 4

Posted by Zig Zag

Dr. Shannon McDonald, deputy chief health officer for the First Nations Health Authority, speaks on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017 at Vancouver’s Bill Reid Gallery.

First Nations overall five times more likely to overdose, despite being just 3.4% of population, health authority and mental health minister reveal.

by David Ball, Metro Vancouver News, August 3, 2017

The statistics are as shocking as the “horrific” crisis they measure, British Columbia’s new mental health minister, Judy Darcy, warned Thursday.

First Nations women in B.C. were eight time more likely to overdose on drugs than non-First Nations women, and First Nations overall were five times more likely to overdose. As for fatal overdoses, the news was equally grim: one-in-ten B.C. drug deaths last year was First Nations.

The newly released data on how their communities have been slammed by the ongoing opioid overdose epidemic — although a year late because of difficulties collecting and co-ordinating the information — showed that the impact was extremely out of whack with the wider population.

Just 3.4 per cent of B.C. residents are First Nations, so the impacts of deadly opioids are clearly disproportionate and “particularly devastating” for their communities, Darcy said.

“Until this horrific crisis is behind us,” she continued, the government’s “focus” remains on “saving lives,” but she emphasized that it’s crucial to tackle the “root causes” are driving First Nations substance abuse in the first place.

Dr. Shannon McDonald, deputy chief medical health officer with the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), couldn’t explain why Indigenous women were significantly overrepresented, and said there’s likely no single factor.

“Many of our women have been traumatized by unspeakable experiences,” she said. “We’re talking about a pain problem; people are taking care of their pain.”

“We are concerned about our women … it’s very, very clear that we are being disproportionately impacted by this overdose crisis.”

Read More And wonder at this palefaced "First Nation" woman with the two Gaelic names. At first, I thought she was a Caucasian health official, but her dialogue indicates otherwise.:

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