Mother pleads for local drug detox centre

The family of the late Kieran Giroux leads a memorial walk in Driftpile in his name on Aug. 31, International Overdose Awareness Day. Left-right, are his aunt Cheryl Giroux, grandparents George and Corrine Giroux, brother Catlin Giroux, mother Sheri Giroux and sisters Jenna Giroux and Katie Isadore.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A Driftpile Cree Nation mother whose son passed away from drug addictions brought awareness to the crisis at a special walk.
About 60 people participated in a memorial walk for Kieran Giroux on Aug. 31, International Overdose Awareness Day.
Giroux passed away Jan. 16, 2022 at 24 years of age.
“He was addicted to meth for six years and then it progressed to heroin,” mother Sheri Giroux says.
“The longest he was clean was 13 days in June 2021 after his 24th birthday.”
She is also calling on the provincial government to locate a detox centre in the region.
“We need a secured 24-hour-a-day detox centre to help drug addicts,” Giroux says.
“Police don’t know what to do with them because they’re not trained.”
She says her son took steps to try to stop his addiction.
“He had a doctor for medication for psychosis,” Giroux says.
“He would always try to quit but there was no immediate intervention locally available.”
When drug addicts want help, they have to wait for a bed to open, she notes.
“It takes one to two months to get a bed and by that time, they’re back into the addiction and it usually gets worse,” Giroux says.
That motivated her to stage a walk and raise the issue.
“I wanted to have a walk to promote awareness of drug addictions,” Giroux says.”
“We’ve lost many loved ones in Driftpile in this meth epidemic.”
Her mission to support people with drug addictions will continue.
Giroux has created special “Kieran Cares” candy bags that she will distribute to addicts and others to give to addicts on the 16th day of each month.
“It’s focused more on the addict,” Giroux says.
Besides the 16th being the day of her son passing away, it is also the time of the month when addicts usually have little money to buy their candy, she says.
“It’s for their withdrawals,” Giroux says. “Candy curbs their craving for meth.”
Each baggie also includes a list of phone numbers for crisis sources.
Alberta Addiction Help Line – (1-866)-332-2322.
Distress Line – (1-780)-482-4357.
Alberta Mental Health Line – (1-877)-303-2642.

The mother and brother of the late Kieran Giroux were given honourary feathers for initiating and organizing a memorial walk in Driftpile in his name on Aug. 31, International Overdose Awareness Day. Left-right, are mother Sheri Giroux and brother Catlin Giroux, who received the feathers from April Isadore, a community member. Honourary feathers are presented to honour a person who has done a good deed, shown kindness or generosity, been extremely brave or accomplished a goal.
Lorna Giroux, middle, and her daughters Mackenzie Giroux, left, and Jeannine Giroux, right, hold pictures of loved ones who have passed away from drug addictions and overdoses.
Lauryn Willier, 13, left, and Ariannah Giroux, 7, each hold a candle during a candlelight vigil at a memorial walk for Kieran Giroux in Driftpile on Aug. 31, International Overdose Awareness Day.

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