Manitoba

'I'm scared': Winnipeg families of overdose victims rally for crackdown on opioids

A small but dedicated group of people who've had loved ones killed due to opioids gathered at the Manitoba legislature on Saturday to rally for action against the deadly drugs.

Moms call for education, better resources after rash of overdoses in city

Family members held signs decorated with photographs of loved ones who died from overdoses on fentanyl and carfentanil. (CBC)

A small but dedicated group of people who've had loved ones killed due to opioids gathered at the Manitoba legislature on Saturday to rally for action against the deadly drugs.

Close to 10 people met at 3 p.m., armed with posters bearing the faces of family members who died from overdoses on fentanyl and carfentanil and signs decrying the dangers of the powerful opioids.

Among them was Sherry Isaac, a mother whose daughter fought a drug addiction for years. She said she wanted to raise awareness about the dangers of opioids, as well as the fact she and others are fighting them.

She said as a mother of someone who has struggled with addiction, it's hard to follow news of the rising use of fentanyl and carfentanil.

Sherry Isaac's daughter has struggled with drug addiction in the past. (CBC)

"I'm scared," she said.

"Last Wednesday, when there was the report of the three people [found dead] in the North End, or the Maples, It took me to my knees, as a mother," she said, her voice breaking with emotion.

"That could have been my child. That could have been your child. It could be anybody's child."

'That's a call I'll never forget'

Cynthia Genaille daughter Brittney died after overdosing on carfentanil last month. She said she thinks her daughter took the drug by accident after it was laced into another drug she was taking.

Genaille said her daughter started taking drugs when she was going through a difficult time and then "fell deeper and deeper."

"She came to my house a couple of days before she passed away and she said she was scared of carfentanil."

Two days later, her daughter was dead.

Cynthia Genaille lost her daughter Brittney to a carfentanil overdose last month. (CBC)

"I got that call at four minutes after four on Oct. 6, that my baby was gone," Genaille said. "That's a call I'll never forget."

Isaac said she wants to see the province crack down on dealers, as well as increased federal and provincial funding for rehabilitation clinic and improved education in schools.

"Parents can educate all they can, but sometimes, even as a mother, we're not exactly putting out there the correct information," she said. "Information has to be across this nation, say from 10 [years old], straight up."

now