North Bay woman urges community compassion after witnessing OD
A woman from North Bay hopes residents will become more compassionate and aware of the issue of drug addiction in the community after she witnessed a man experience an apparent overdose at the transit terminal this week.
Tasha Roy was walking to the station Tuesday around midday with her son when they saw a man slumped over with his face flat on the ground.
Roy says a man, who appeared to be a transit worker, and another woman were there beside the individual.
She says the pair were pouring water on the man’s head, while the woman made a comment about the man being a user.
After calling 911 and checking the man’s breathing, Roy searched for ID and found a bag with drug paraphernalia inside.
“This person is on the ground, clearly not well. I wasn’t thinking, ‘Well, they’re drunk or they could harm me.’ I was just thinking they need help,” she said.
An ambulance arrived shortly after. All the while, Roy says she saw people filming the incident.
Afterward, Roy stopped at a local pharmacy and after speaking with a pharmacist was provided with a free naloxone kit, a medication used to stop the effects of an opioid.
“You get the community talking in a good way hopefully,” she said about sharing her story.
“Because if we would have left him there and he died, can you imagine? That’s someone’s loved one there.”
North Bay Police Service Sgt. Jody deHaas confirmed that police received a report of a drug overdose at the terminal and officers did attend.
In an email statement, City of North Bay communications officer Gord Young said a transit employee had assisted with a medical emergency at the terminal late Tuesday morning.
He said 911 was called and the individual was taken away by ambulance, adding: “When it comes to protocol, transit staff would contact 911 in the case of any medical emergency that occurred on a bus or at the terminal.”
A recovered drug addict herself, Roy says as a teenager she spent time around people who injected drugs, not only seeing them high but hearing them talk about how they only think about getting their next fix.
She also has a family member who overdosed and says she knows the extent to which people with addictions can be judged, despite the troubles they may have had in their lives.
Her hope is people will become more compassionate about their fellow citizens and educate themselves about how to use naloxone.
“You have to use that knowledge and compassion and work with all these different factors, because if you just become fearful or if you become arrogant or judgmental, we’re not going to be able to help out the community or anybody.”