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Interview​ ​with​ ​Dave​ ​Chevelday​ ​–​ ​Shift​ ​and​ ​Site​ ​Peer​ ​Manager,​ ​Overdose​ ​Prevention Society


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2017/09/29

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: To begin, what are some of the main problems of overdoses in British Columbia, Canada at the moment?

Dave Chevelday: Two of the biggest problems we face is people still using at home alone, and users that have either detoxed or have been released from prison and have not used for a long period of time. The second problem is so significant because the opiate strengths are increasing all the time. Harm reduction sites can only keep people safe if they are using at the sites. Another stress point for sites is the strength and cutting agents are constantly changing in the opiates and make every overdose a challenge.

Jacobsen: What is the ratio, based on any anecdotes and data, for those using at home compared to using at sites? Also, to clarify for the readers, what are “cutting agents”?

Chevelday: The ratios are not clear at this time, because that info is not public. The term “cutting agents” is regards to what substances are used at the time when the opiates are being created. Also known as “buffs”, which is what Fentanyl is, because you can take any garbage opiate and make it street grade by adding drugs such as Fentanyl.

Jacobsen: How do the problems here reflect the more national and international problems with excessive drug misuse/abuse? What demographic of people is most hit in B.C. by the overdoses?

Chevelday: The demographic is not clear at this point. An overdose can happen to either the rich or poor, first time user, or long time user. It all depends on the amount of Fentanyl in the shot you are using, or dragon you are smoking.

Jacobsen: What is the main social injustice surrounding overdoses in B.C.?

Chevelday: The main social injustice is Mental Health. The main use for opiates is one trying to self medicate, or escape from your inner problems. Detoxing from narcotics is not a solution. The only way in which we as a society can win this war is by combatting it from the inside, and by this I mean a better Mental state. That is the only way to truly fight the need for mind altering substances.

Jacobsen: Why do citizens in one of the highest quality of life places in the world self-medicate?

Chevelday: For the most part, self-medicating is someone trying to escape from their mental problems.

Jacobsen: What are the main means of educating through peers and for the public of the Overdose Protection Society?

Chevelday: At the present time, Overdose Prevention educates at the site as often as possible and we also have a Facebook page: Overdose Prevention Site.

Jacobsen: People can look at the website for more information on the Overdose Protection Society. How can they become involved, even donate, to the Overdose Protection Society — to save lives, or prevent further harm if not at a minimum reduce the amount of harm that is ongoing through overdoses?

Chevelday: Overdose Prevention Society is always accepting new volunteers. You can leave a message on our Facebook page and someone will return with all the info needed. Donations are always accepted, please make checks out to: Overdose Prevention Society. Every penny helps, donations go to the following, toilet and paper towels, drinking cups, juice, muffins, and other treats for the clients.

The management team from time to time use our own money to help get Items the site needs. The staff that has been there from day one do does it because they love there their community.

Jacobsen: Thank you for your time, Dave.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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