POWELL RIVER, B.C. – Fentanyl and the opioid crisis will be at the forefront of an interactive workshop in Powell River Monday evening.

All residents are invited to attend and share their ideas on how the opioid crisis can be addressed. The meeting is a follow up to a gathering held last year.

“We want to look back and see where we’ve been and how we can move forward, which in fact, we have moved forward,” said Powell River councillor Maggie Hathaway, who is spearheading the event.

“We are certainly getting the word out there, and taking the stigma out of drug use so people can feel free to get the help they need.”

Hathaway said the city was issued some funds from Vancouver Coastal Health to form a community action team.

“(The team) can utilize those funds to move forward with whatever input we get from this meeting on how people think we can help,” she said.

She noted that they want to hear from all walks of life, including the general public, users, doctors and nurses.

“Anyone who has an interest and the use of drugs has affected them (directly or indirectly) in their lives.”

Hathaway is hoping that people learn from this event, and take away some peace of mind, and knowledge that help is available.

“Whether you are a family member or a user yourself, there is help out there and I want people to not feel ashamed or embarrassed by coming forward for help because these are insidious drugs that you can’t fight alone.”

The open session takes place at The ARC on Alberni Street at 6:00 p.m.