Manitoba's new addiction treatment plan not good enough, says grieving mother

Arlene Last-Kolb expresses anger, despair in response to the province's addictions treatment announcement. "They feel like they have done something," she says. "But have they?"

Arlene Last-Kolb, whose son fatally overdosed, says funding for more beds, security, won't save enough lives

Arlene Last-Kolb says she is disappointed that demands for easier access to naloxone kits have been ignored. (Donna Carreiro/CBC)

On Wednesday, our government made an addictions treatment announcement. They feel like they have done something.

But have they? 

Where is our naloxone? 

How can we continually be ignored in getting better access to a life-saving antidote and safer supply of it? What good is anything if we can't keep those struggling with addiction alive? 

I see again no communication with those who live this every day. How do you get someone in psychosis to the hospital? 

I see they include money to staff eight extra security people for the hospital, to cut back on the time it takes for police to "offload" cases. More security with police. Why is Manitoba Justice involved?  Eight security guards. Again, the wrong message is sent.

Of course, any help is better than nothing. But why does the government continue to give bits and pieces? 

All we ever get are promises for more beds. There is nothing for those living this every day.

How do you say to someone that your child is not worth the life-saving antidote?- Arlene Last-Kolb

How does our government deliver this news and not talk about naloxone? 

There's still nowhere to get naloxone in the middle of the night.

And why aren't our hospitals giving out naloxone? Do our paramedics leave behind Narcan at all of those overdose calls they attend to?

It is good enough for them to respond with naloxone, but not good enough for our government to say we need more kits. 

Why is naloxone hard to get? Why do services have to work together to share what supplies they have? 

Our government continues to ignore the fact that people are dying every week.

How does a government let more than 1,000 people die since they have taken office? 

How do you explain that to families?

How do you say to someone that your child is not worth the life-saving antidote?

'Ignored again'

There are people in our group that would be alive today if they had naloxone, including my son.

Today I am tired of doing others' work. 

You should all be ashamed. 

I have spent hours meeting with you, shared my story over and over, like it was a record. 

Last-Kolb has spent years advocating for better addictions treatment programs, since the 2014 death of her son Jessie by fentanyl poisoning. (Donna Carreiro/CBC)

I have put myself through hell trying to get the help we need. Put my family second, given up my life to a cause, for what?

What have any of you done? 

We have a premier who thinks this is a moral failing and we let him get away with that. We read about people dying every week and we do nothing.

I am losing faith that, as a community, we care.- Arlene Last-Kolb

We let democracy fail. 

We give a 5,000-signed petition asking for help in the house to our premier and we do nothing? Shameful.

So today, I am disappointed. Ignored again.

For all of you that I have met and shared our son with, I am let down. 

I am sad to be from Manitoba and I am losing faith that, as a community, we care. 

- Arlene Last-Kolb

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On July 18, 2014, Arlene Last-Kolb's 24-year-old son, Jessie, passed from a fentanyl poisoning. Since then, she has spent her time talking about compassion and the lack of proper treatment in Manitoba, and speaking for those who can no longer speak for themselves.