BC Coroners Service condemns funeral chain's campaign to show dangers of fentanyl

By Vanessa Ybarra / The Canadian Press
December 2, 2017 - 3:38pm

KAMLOOPS — The BC Coroners Service says it does not support using fear-based initiatives to try and slow down the opioid epidemic in B.C

The message comes after a Langley funeral home chain announced its created a fentanyl prevention program that includes a poster of grieving family members surrounding a coffin, under a banner reading "Will fentanyl be the reason for your next family get-together?"

Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services owner Tyrel Burton says a casket and hearse are also part of the 45-minute presentation his company has produced aimed at parents and their children aged 12.

The funeral group plans to present the presentation to church youth groups and community centres around Metro Vancouver in early 2018.

In an emailed statement the B.C. Coroners Service says evidence suggests that the reasons for drug use are complex and multifaceted, and programs focused on scaring people from using drugs, are not effective in saving lives.

It adds images featuring drug paraphernalia can act as a trigger, resulting in the desire to use and causing more harm. 

The drug overdose crisis has taken over two-thousand lives in B.C since January 2016

The province is likely to surpass the 1,500 mark for deaths in 2017 alone.

Funeral held for Syrian refugee, 9, struck and killed by bus in Abbotsford, B.C.