Joe Amero, a social worker in the Toronto shelter system, discusses his history of drug use and harm reduction. Joe discusses how his brother Harry’s overdose affected his family and how he dealt with his feeling through a one-person show he wrote titled Blood, the Drug User Liberation Front’s compassion club actions where they distribute a clean supply of drugs to help stop overdoses due to drugs contaminated with Fentanyl, Drugs! The Musical, the Telethon! and songs by Hobo Banditos, the Hip Hop band he and Harry were in.
Tag: Joe Amero
Joe Amero brings depth of lived experience to harm reduction in Toronto shelter system
This is the final feature in a three-part series diving into aspects of the opioid pandemic, the overdose crisis, whatever you wish to call it. It is a public health crisis which became exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Canada’s Public Health database, there was a 95 percent increase in apparent opioid toxicity deaths from April 2020 to March 2021, with a total of 7,224 deaths, compared to 3,711 deaths from April 2019 to March 2020. Since then, deaths have remained high.
These statistics were published in March 2022 and only went as far as September 2021, but by that point, 5,368 apparent opioid toxicity deaths had occurred. This is approximately 20 deaths per day. For a similar timeframe in the years before the pandemic, there were between 7 in 2016 and 12 in 2018 deaths per day.