NO one will ever know if Alyssa George would be alive today had there been a detox facility here when she reached out for help in the spring of 2013. But she might have had a chance.
Her last days as revealed during the inquest into her death and the facts that came out of that inquest – arrested Sept. 3, 2013 as an indirect result of a landlord-tenant dispute, placed in RCMP cells, taken to Mills Memorial Hospital after going into medical distress and then to hospital in Vancouver where she died days later – clearly show that George, just 25, was so ravaged by years of alcohol and substance abuse by that time that she was beginning to shut down.
Ms. George is now added to the list of those who have died in more or less public circumstances where substance abuse was a factor – Melvin Aksidan in 2007 in the woods between Mills Memorial and the Sande Overpass, Hughie Davis in a makeshift shelter across from the Telus building in 2009 – to name a few.
That Mr. Aksidan and Mr. Davis died outside, both in late fall, should not escape observation. That all three were aboriginal should not also escape observation. But there have been many others of all incomes, of all races and in all circumstances who have died from substance abuse.
A detox centre here may not save everyone but it’s lack toward help and hopefully recovery is inexcusable for a society as rich as ours.
Editorial, The Terrace Standard, Nov. 4, 2015