Books·Canadian

Overdose

Overdose is a book by Benjamin Perrin.

Benjamin Perrin

North America is in the middle of a health crisis. The word "Fentanyl" only recently entered common usage, and yet it has become a looming presence in news reports and conversations across Canada. It is an opioid more powerful and pervasive — and deadly — than any previous street drug.

Often those suffering are marginalized people. Consider that in 2003, the SARS epidemic killed 44 people in Canada and launched a massive mobilization of public funds and resources to contain the outbreak. Over 100 times that number have been killed between 2016 and 2017 during the opioid crisis in Canada. Yet, the response has been far from proportionate. In fact, our policies are making things worse.

The victims are many, and as we learn here, not only who we might expect. They are our neighbours: professionals, students, parents, and even health care workers. Despite the thousands of deaths, these victims remain largely invisible. But not anymore.

Benjamin Perrin, a law and policy expert in Vancouver — ground zero for the crisis — shines a light in this darkest of corners. What he finds challenges many assumptions about the people who use opioids, and the factors fuelling the crisis. Why do people use Fentanyl, where does it come from, and why can't we stop it? These questions, and many others being asked by all Canadians, are answered here in this urgent and humane look at the worst health crisis in recent history. (From Viking)

Perrin is a law professor at the University of British Columbia. He is also the author of two other works of nonfiction, Invisible Chains: Canada's Underground World of Human Trafficking and Victim Law: The Law of Victims of Crime in Canada.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.