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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ocycontin awareness rally held February 12

Image from Medical gallery of Mikael Häggström 2014
Toni Lucas

Concerned citizens and members of the Piitaapoyii Group organized a rally to raise awareness about the dangers of Oxycontin (oxycodone) 80 mg, also known as Oxy 80 in Piikani. The rally took place February 12. Over one hundred people attended on horseback, marching, sounding drums and speaking out for a drug free life, with people coming as far away as Montana to attend.  "This is a growing concern in our communities," said one woman who wanted to remain anonymous.  

There were groups represented from Piikani Nation, Blood Reserve, and Piikani Ambulance Fire Department, RCMP detachment, and Napi Friendship Centre to name a few.  This is an issue has caused deaths and affected countless lives.

The prescription drug is dangerous when misused, and counterfeit versions containing Fentanyl have been found in southwestern Alberta. The rally is to take place February 12 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, and lunch will be provided. "We will start at the Blue Mountain Convenience Store (Formerly Red Feather) and we will end up at the Community Hall, in Brocket," said a member of the Piitaapoyii Group. "Everyone, everyone is welcome, from any community.  Red, yellow, white black, addictions doesn't care who you are, and hurts everyone."  There will be presentations from doctors and people who have encountered the drug and its societal effects. 

"We are trying to take proactive measurements for our community let them be aware of what they are taking, and what they are getting themselves into with Oxy 80, and the fake Oxy 80. We don't want to start burying our own people, and people will die. It's a very dangerous drug, from my understanding. We are letting the community know what they are getting themselves into."

The fake pills resemble oxycodone tablets. Some are green and stamped with “CDN” on one side and the number 80 on the other. While the green tablets appear to be more widely available, pills have also been manufactured that are white with the number 10 or the number 80.

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