Addiction, and The Opioid Crisis in Canada

Addiction

At this very moment, one in every ten people in Canada are suffering from alcohol and drug addiction. Substance abuse numbers are growing every day in our country, and we are not immune to it. Canadian statistics state that forty seven thousand Canadians are dying from this abuse each year, and the number is rising drastically. Approximately one hundred and twenty nine Canadians will die today from drug abuse. This number has tripled over the past thirty years. Chances are, there is someone in my life today, your life today, that has struggled with or been affected by someone who is an alcoholic or a drug addict. We are without defence against addiction in Canada.

Canada’s Crisis with Addiction

Many of you have heard in recent news about the opioid crisis that has swept across our nation from West to East. More recently, a synthetic opioid drug called Fentanyl has created an epidemic here in Canada which has triggered a public-health emergency across the country. Fentanyl is up to one hundred times more toxic, and addictive than morphine. It is primarily used in medicine as a prescription for those in extreme pain such as cancer. Just one tiny grain of fentanyl the size of salt can be deadly to someone who comes in contact with it through inhalation, absorption, or ingestion. You can not see, smell, or taste this narcotic.

Today, this drug is being sold illegally on the streets of Canada and people are unaware. Endless types of fentanyl are being added into and cut with other drugs that come in pill, and powder forms on the street. One example of this is Carfentanil, a type of fentanyl used as an elephant tranquilizer. Any drugs created with Carfentanil have the potential to kill someone with just one pill. These drugs being produced and sold falsely as pharmaceuticals across Canada are killing teens and young adults. Fentanyl is a deadly drug in disguise to Canadians across the country.

It has been proven by researchers that teens and young adults have brains which are more vulnerable towards addiction to opioids such as fentanyl. The prefrontal cortex in the brain that is responsible for decision making does not fully develop until after age twenty five, which means they are vulnerable with the inability to problem solve rationally. The teen brain is simply not an adult brain, and opioids are every parent’s worst nightmare. Studies have shown that the average age which drug use begins in Canada is only sixteen years old, and twenty one percent of teens have been reported using opioid pain relievers. The opioid crisis is not just known to be a street problem anymore. An academic student from a good home in British Columbia was found dead in a Starbucks bathroom August of last year from an overdose.

As a firefighter for the City of Ottawa, this epidemic is a relevant issue that I have been exposed to and affected by in my everyday life. I have had extensive training on how to identify opioid overdoses, and I carry the anti-opioid medication called ‘Narcan’ on me to save a person’s life. In Ottawa this year there have already been two girls, ages fourteen and eighteen that have overdosed from opioids and one of them was recently confirmed a victim of fentanyl. When Chief of Police Charles Bordeleau was interviewed about these young women he stated, “Education about the dangers of these drugs, prevention, harm reduction, and solid treatment programs are needed in order for us to tackle this issue in our community.” First responders across the country are battling this crisis, but more needs to be done to help save young people in our country.

The Voice for Addiction

If chosen to be the next Miss World Canada, I would love nothing more than to pursue my passion for recovery. I believe that education, prevention, and help resources for addiction need to be available today in Canada, and it needs to become a priority. I intend to travel across this country to perform public speaking engagements in middle schools and high schools with police, firefighters, and paramedics for the youth that so desperately need to hear about addiction. I believe that this is the most effective place to start. A recent study shows that eighty three percent of Ontario students in grade twelve consume alcohol, almost fifty percent of these students admit to being binge drinkers, and seventeen percent have taken non-prescription pain killers, (which could include fentanyl being sold on the street).

A new report states that in the province of Ontario fentanyl related deaths have increased five hundred and forty eight percent from 2006 to 2015 and those numbers are escalating. Awareness about addiction starts with the young people in our country. Students need to be educated about recognizing signs of addictive behaviour towards substances. They need to know about the opioid crisis in Canada, and about these deadly drugs being sold on the streets and in their schools. Teens also need to hear about treatment options available if they are seeking help such as rehabilitation, twelve step programs, and crisis support.

The younger generations are Canada’s future. I am confident that the sooner we make young people aware of the opioid crisis in Canada, and what addiction is the faster we can get those who are suffering help. Together, we can start saving the lives of those addicted across Canada. One hundred and twenty nine Canadians will die today. What part will you play in the public-health emergency that is taking the lives of young people right now in our country? Thank you, and God Bless.

 

Written by: Karina
Leave a comment

Manotick Fire Station 94

Ever since I was a little girl, I knew that I was different. I wasn’t quite sure where I would end up in life, but I always knew that I was wasn’t on a typical path. The first time I entered the Manotick Fire Station, a fire sparked within me and it has grown larger and larger each and every day since. The longer I have spent time there, the more I have discovered who I truly am as a woman, friend, and public servant. The fire station in my town is the most inspiring place I have been to in my region.

How did this spot become my favourite place you may ask? When I was nineteen years old, I decided to venture out and try to pursue a unique career. The thought dawned on me, that it would be really rewarding to push myself past my physical and mental limits every day. I applied to be a Firefighter at the Manotick Station, and I was called to do a physical ability test one week later. I had been a long distance runner my whole life, so I thought that my cardiovascular endurance would be enough for me to pass the test. However, I was unsuccessful on my first attempt. That step back of mine, pushed me to work harder and motivated me to achieve this goal of mine. I trained every day in the gym, pushing myself past my limits and exactly one year and one day later I attempted the physical ability test for the second time. I passed with flying colours, exactly four minutes under maximum time, which was twelve minutes to complete an eight station course. That day, I was in the top 10% time of people who did the course, and I beat 80% of the times that were scored by men. A week later, I participated in a one hour interview by four firefighters, and one fire chief. The day I got the phone call to inform me that I was going to be a firefighter, was the best day of my life to date. Since then, I have been and forever will be changed.

This Hot Spot is so important to me, because it is like a second home of mine. I am the only female firefighter out of 24 members at my station, but that does not hold me back from pursuing this career. The men that I work with are some of the most genuine people I have met in my life, and I know that they would all go to any lengths to protect me… no matter what. Whether it’s 3am and were all racing to put out a fire a local business mall that has caught into flames, or its 5pm and a car accident has occurred during rush hour where people need our help for medical attention or rescue efforts, we all work together to help others in our community. It’s one of the most rewarding feelings to be able to help someone in need, and I wouldn’t have any other people by my side to do so.

Not only is this fire station a favourite place of mine, but it is also the place that all of the young people in my community enjoy visiting. Regardless if we are hosting a fundraiser, public education event, or open house the children in my community light up when they get to sit in our fire trucks. I enjoy spending time with the young people in my community, and our fire station brings everyone in the community together…  young and old!

These are just some of the many reasons why I absolutely love my hot spot and local fire station, Manotick Fire Station 94. There’s no place like home!

Written by: Karina
Leave a comment

SPONSORSHIP PARTY MISS WORLD CANADA 2017

On Sunday July 16th 2017, I was invited to a VIP Sponsorship Party for Miss World Canada and it was a blast! Here are the sponsors, and pictures I got from this amazing night with gifts!

                 Maxine Warsh – the warsh cloth at Miss World Canada 2017

Maxine Warsh was present , and worked hard to educate the delegates on the water in their skin and how to best clean cosmetics from skin which is great knowledge for young people with healthy skin to protect and get passionate about.

Lucy from The Kraco set up a lovely display of beauty products and accessories

kraco logo body wash and beauty bar

Shoes from Nine West were provided for each delegate – later – just the measurements were taken

Nine West shoes for evening gownShoes from Nine West

And lots of sketchers

Sketchers was there too and they had a lot of fun

There were some spiffy cosmetics

Snappy Towels microfiber beach towels gave away blue and pink beach balls emblazoned with their logo.

Snappy Towels invited each of the delegates to blow up a beach ball amd one of these delegates won a white Snappy Towel which is the first of many to be dispensed as prizes over the course of the week – more on that in the next blog post.

Raven social media photo booth was set up to make memories with the party and the official photo wall in the background. Robin was killing it with so many crowns and sashes high heels – she helped make the party much more memorable.

Robin had lots of ideas – was making memories with Spin Starlets who work wonders with

LED Hula Hoops

Isabella Hoops Entertainment sent hula hoop performers to put on a show and give tips to inspire other enthusiasts among the assembly.

Isabella Hoops Entertainment

Every girl got a crack at the Hulahoops

Isabella Hoops at Miss World Canada Sponsor PartyTo make rotations and gyrations with overall good vibrations, and the gift giving and getting went on for what seemed like an eternity.

Hashtagio social media aggregator was there , but not really, – every Instagram picture tagged #MissWorldCanadaHashtagio social media aggregator

Hashtagio feed for Miss World Canada

Behold the Hashtagio feed and here’s more excitement related to inflatable beach.

Archer Dental sent ahead dozens of tiny gift bags loaded with dental supplies – there was a massive array of dental products on hand.

Archer Dentaland because it was displayed in such a prime spot in the whole horseshoe array Archer Dental had to share her table with Lily Laio of Street Chic who gave away very cute tank tops emblazzoned with the slogan “I Like it when you smile and I love it when Im the reason” which is a very fashion forward proposition and one that fits perfectly with Miss World Canada – too bad the shorts were mostly ‘medium’.

At the Sponsor Party, the delegates encountered representatives of these brands and local attractions.

It was an incredible night, and I am so excited to see what comes next!

Written by: Karina
Leave a comment

Big hello from Toronto!

It’s day 3 at the Miss World Canada 2017 competition and I am so excited to tell you about my favourite sponsors so far. All of us girls have been pampered over the past few days, and all of our sponsors have been absolutely amazing. So thank you to ALL sponsors!

MAYFAIR CLUBS https://www.mayfairclubs.com

Mayfair Fitness Clubs in Toronto is AMAZING! I have never seen a gym like this, full weight training room, tennis courts, squash, swimming, bistro, clothing shop, the friendliness staff and so much more! If you’re looking for a place to workout in Tdot, I would defiantly recommend them. 🏋🏼‍♀️ #mayfairclubs#misseasternontarioworld2017#missworldcanada #mwc17 #mwc2017

NINE WEST https://www.ninewest.ca/pages/main-home?utm_source=GOOGLE&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Search%7CBranddownload-1

Nine West Canada is a beautiful Canadian company that delivers high end products to their clients. Nine West is the OFFICIAL SHOE SPONSOR for Miss World Canada 2017. I am so excited to wear my heels for the swimsuit category of the pageant this Thursday! Stay tuned for pictures. #missworldcanada #mwc17 #mwc2017 #ninewestcanada

MAXINE WARSH https://www.maxinewarsh.com

unnamed

Maxine Warsh Facial Rejuvenation is an all natural skin care wash cloth, and all you need is water! It removes makeup and grime while it cleanses, exfoliates and rejuvenates all in one use. It’s magic!!! #missworldcanada #mwc2017 #mwc17 #maxinewarsh

 

Written by: Karina
Leave a comment

Happy 150th Birthday Canada!

Written by: Karina
Leave a comment

Hello Everyone!

My name is Karina and I am currently the winner of the Miss World Canada Provincial Competition title, Miss Eastern Ontario World. I am competing in July of 2017 against 50+ women from all across Canada for the National title of Miss World Canada in Toronto, Ontario!

I am currently a Firefighter for the City of Ottawa and I want to be involved in my community in every way possible. I am competing in the Miss World Canada competition to bring awareness about addiction, raise money for local charities, and to be a role model for young women in my community.

The recent fentanyl crisis in Canada has been devastating and it has swept across our nation taking the lives of innocent young people. As a firefighter, this has been a relevant issue that I have been exposed to in my everyday life. My platform for the Miss World Canada competition is to help teenage students in Canada who suffer from addiction issues, whether it be drugs or alcohol abuse. The platform is close to my heart, and I want to help students in high school and middle school who are suffering in Canada. This would entail travelling across the country to speak to young adults in school about addiction, educate people on the disease, and explain treatment options available for everyone.

At the end of the day, I want to show young women in my community that they can achieve anything they set their minds to, like becoming a firefighter or even the next Miss World Canada. I entered the Miss World Canada competition after I was asked by a woman in my city if I would rather be a model or a firefighter while I was on duty in my uniform. I want to show young women and girls across Canada that, “YOU can do both, and you CAN do it all”. As long as you follow your dreams you will always remain true to yourself, and you will never look back! Thank you for your support, and God bless.

Karina (third person from the right). May 21st 2017 at 4:30am.

Written by: Karina Tagged with:, , ,
Leave a comment