British Columbia

War on drugs needs to end, says group of mothers heading to UN

MumsDU co-founder Leslie McBain lost her son, Jordan, to an opiate overdose in 2014. She wants members of the United Nations to end the War on Drugs and adopt a more humanistic approach to prevent future deaths like Jordan's.

“We find that we, as mothers who have lost children, are listened to,” says mumsDU co-founder

From left: Donna D. May, Leslie Mcbain, Petra Schulz and Jennifer Woodside's have been brought together by their children's substance abuse. They have formed the coalition Moms United and Mandated to Save Drug Users, or MumsDU. (Supplied)

Pender Island mother Leslie McBain lost her son, Jordan, to an opiate overdose in 2014.

Stories like McBain's have become increasingly common in B.C. and Canada in recent years, so now she is taking her story to the United Nations in New York to call for an end to the war on drugs.

"We find that we, as mothers who have lost children, are listened to," she told All Points West host Robyn Burns. "There is this crisis, Canada-wide, of opioid misuse, opioid overdose, addiction … there's people dying left and right from this. So it does resonate."

McBain is the co-founder of mumsDU: Moms United and Mandated to Saving the Lives of Drug Users. She and her group will be attending the Special Session of the UN's General Assembly on the World Drug Problem, April 19 to 21.

MumsDU consists of Canadian mothers who want to see more harm reduction, naloxone access, Good Samaritan laws, education for doctors about opiate prescriptions and "for all health and social care providers to use compassion and understanding when interacting with drug users and their families and supporters."

"There are member countries that are not on board [with reforming drug policy]. They would like to continue the war on drugs the way it has been for various reasons," she said. "We're certainly looking to put our voice forward to end the war and take a more humanistic approach."

MumsDU will be at the special session primarily as an observer, although a member of the group will be participating in a related panel discussion.

They leave for New York on Friday.

With files from CBC Radio One's All Points West

Leslie McBain (right) and Carl Miller hold a photo of their son, Jordan, who died of an opioid overdose in 2014. (

To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: Mother's group has a message for UN: end the War on Drugs


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