A first-hand account of the opioid crisis downtown Chilliwack

Local father witnesses man in the throes of overdose as school kids head to classes

After dropping his kids off at school on May 1, downtown Chilliwack resident witnessed a man overdosing at Williams and Yale. Matthew Orwin called 911 and stayed with the man until paramedics arrived.(Matt Orwin/Submitted)

As downtown Chilliwack school kids made their way to classes before first bell on Monday, many had to walk right by a man in the throes of a drug overdose as a woman screamed and cried for help.

After dropping his children off at school, downtown resident Matthew Orwin walked by the scene at Williams Street and Yale Road near Chilliwack secondary school and Chilliwack middle school and found himself forced into action.

He said he saw the two individuals shooting up behind the temporary fencing on the lot across from 7/11.

“The male was [overdosing] and his female companion was in shock, flailing about with a needle in her hand, screaming/crying for help,” Orwin said. “Heaps of student rushing to make first class. People bustling about yet no one seemed to stop to help.”

So Orwin called 911 and helped the female lay her friend down and open up his airways. When BC Ambulance paramedics arrived, Orwin said the male was given oxygen then a shot of naloxone after which he was “good as gold.”

The opioid crisis in the Lower Mainland and across Canada is only growing, and has been addressed by candidates both locally and provincially in the current election campaign.

Orwin said from what he’s seen, the situation locally is getting scary and concerning.

”Homelessness, mental health and addiction go hand in hand with the opioid crisis and it is at our doorstep,” Orwin said. “Over the last few weeks my children have witnessed a man injecting drugs into his arm right in front of RCMP. The downtown core is starting to look like East Hastings with our own Pigeon Park right at Five Corners.”

Just Posted

Missing Chilliwack teen found ‘safe and sound’

Boy found just as mother was organizing search

Chilliwack Rotary club reports $4,200 theft at storage shed

Rotary Train Shed adjacent to homeless camp on reserve land broken into Oct. 15

Rainfall warning issued across Lower Mainland into the weekend

50 to 70 mm of rain expected to fall starting overnight Friday and into Sunday morning

UPDATE: Chilliwack mother issues plea for info on missing son

Informal search party organized for 13-year-old boy not seen since Thursday

Husband pleads guilty in relation to 2009 killing of Kulwinder Gill

Abbotsford woman died in hit-and-run conspiracy

VIDEO: ‘Lyle the singing pig’ searching for home

SPCA say the pig is ‘not opera-ready’

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Search for missing B.C. man a race against winter weather

David Jeff of Williams Lake was last seen in Kamloops during the chaotic wildfire evacuations

Man steals police car, goes for a ‘slow’ ride

Mission RCMP say the motive of the theft is unknown

Dodgers punch ticket to World Series

This will be the first time the Los Angles Dodgers have made it to the World Series since 1988.

Surf group winning the war on plastic bags

The Tofino Co-op will no longer provide plastic bags, following in the footsteps of the Ucluelet location that already made the change earlier this year.

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

VIDEO: Body discovered at scene of dumpster fire behind Langley City mall

Area behind furniture store taped off after firefighters find deceased woman while battling blaze

5 to start your day

Sentencing in murder of Surrey teen expected, Maple Ridge mayor to step away from politics and more

Most Read