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Fentanyl Crisis In Abbotsford, Canada

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The Abbotsford community has started to encounter a drug, fentanyl. This drug is mainly used for cancer patients in extreme pain. The drug is ten times more powerful than heroin. Since there is no smell or taste it is incredibly hard to tell if this drug is in other drugs. The drug is typically placed into different drugs either in powder or liquid form. Some well known drugs like cocaine, molly, weed, and oxycodone pills have been shown to laced with fentanyl. This is due to fentanyl being a cheaper drug to produce, this gives dealers a higher amount of profit and those who take it a stronger high with a bigger risk of dying.

Abbotsford first started to see an increasing amount of overdose deaths in 2015, and they noticed a pattern. All those who overdosed and died had traces of fentanyl in their body. This was a big concern to the community. This is a big concern to the community because there are a lot of teenagers who do drugs and there is no way of telling if it what they are taking is laced with fentanyl, many had already died due to this. According to an article posted by Vice the teenagers thought that most of these pills were prescription pills, however most of them were fake. The death toll continued to increase, so much so that by September 2016 the death toll had already passed the death toll of 2015. After a province wide health emergency was declared, the police along with other organisations started to educate the public on what would happen if they took fentanyl or a drug laced with it. Schools also started teaching students the risks of it, for example Abbotsford Senior Secondary posted “fentanyl Warning Issued – Abbotsford Police Department” on their school website on June 6 th , 2016. Along with schools started to educate students, the Abbotsford Police Department posted a article online for the community as a way to educate and warn them of the risks. Organizations also started to put up posters that were meant to warn the community about the fentanyl crisis, as well as informing them about a number to contact if the were ever to witness a fentanyl overdose.

The problem oriented policing model that is being implemented here is the SARA model. The first step of the SARA model is scanning, this step determines whether a problem exists. The problem that was found out was the amount of overdoses that was increasing. The second step is analysis, this is to find the impact the problem was having, which as said earlier is the amount of deaths and the pace that they were increasing. The third step is response, under this step the focus is on those responsible and to use social control. The response was to declare a province wide health emergency and educate the community of fentanyl and the risks of taking it. The last step of the SARA is model is assessment, where the outcomes are examined.

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