Camille Bens, Canadian press
Posted on Monday, December 31, 2018, 7:46 AM, PST
Last Updated on Monday, December 31, 2018 07:50 PST
Vancouver-Dayton Wilson's routine drug-routine ended when he overturned the heroin lined with fentanyl, but being able to go and speak normally also was part of his past while he struggled with brain damage from drug-related with thousands of deaths.
Wilson, 24, used banned drugs for the last time in August 2016 at Vancouver in downtown Eastside, according to his mother, but he does not remember anything about the day he was transferred to the hospital.
It was the first of two buildings where three months would learn to take a few steps and say a few words.
The latest figures from Canada's Public Health Agency say more than 9,000 people have deliberately overcrowded across the country between January 2016 and June 2018. The Coronary Services Corps in British Columbia recorded almost one-third of these deaths.
But there are no comprehensive statistics on people who have survived the brain-damaging effects of opioids. Doctors say the information is imperative to understand the size of the "forgotten" victims of the opioid crisis and provide them with care and resources so they can become as functional as possible.
More than two years after the speech, physical and occupational therapy, Wilson speaks solosely and is difficult to understand. He paused before answering the question of what he could remember after he was transferred to the St. Paul Hospital in an ambulance.
"I do not remember this, but I did not breathe about five minutes," he said about the length of time when his brain is believed to be devoid of oxygen.
While we are talking, it can be frustrating, what lusts most, can not rattle, one of his passions.
"Now the balance is tough for me," he said, adding that he sometimes fell back and hit his head.
Wilson said he began experimenting with drugs at the age of 15 before becoming heroin addict two years later. Brain damage that he experienced at the age of 21 helped him understand the impact of his dependence on power and life.
"I really like the person who made me," he said about his ordeal. "I just do not like what has been done for me."
His mother, Valery Wilson, said she and her ex-husband refused to allow their son to live with them while continuing to overdose in their homes even after treatment because they are concerned about the effects of his dependence on their other children.
The impact of the final overdose was difficult for the family.
"He tried to eat and was like seeing a difficult Parkinsonian patient," Wilson told her son in hospital. "He was trembling and could not keep the food on his fork."
Wilson said there is little awareness of the consequences of brain injury in those who survived the opioid crisis.
"One thing I'm listening to is:" At least you still have it. "Many times, I'm like," Well, in fact, no, I do not. I have a version of it. ""
She said her son is a railroad that will walk along the steel beams in the air, and now she does not want to go to the edge of the ocean rock because she can fall.
Wilson's family tried to find common programs and support groups for it, but the only available services are for people who are dealing with unrelated problems, including the stroke that affects older adults, his mother said.
"He wants to be a member of society," she said, adding that her son recently received a part-time job as a cleaner at the Kamloops Hotel, where she now lives with his father.
"Going to work is important for his self-esteem, and now that he has this job, where he essentially cleans the toilets, he loves him."
Norma McDonald's daughter, Thrissi McDonald, now 44 years old, was addicted to opioid-based recipe for decades after diagnosing endometriosis when she was 14 years old. She suffered brain damage after her first and only overdose in July 2017.
"The endometriosis was so painful that it would literally be lowered to the floor," McDonald said of her daughter, who began with a "medical shopping" for methadone, oxycontin and percocet, and eventually passed through the treatment of dependence on the advice of her family doctor.
She recidivated and exaggerated, suffering from damage to the brain that affected her speech and left her wheelchair-dependent, said her mother.
"When people hear that it is caused by a fentany overdose, then it's quite a write-off and it's unfortunate," McDonald said of her daughter, who lives with her parents.
Dr. Adam Pitts, a physician at the intensive care unit at the St. Paul Hospital, where Wilson was initially treated, said brain cells could be affected only 30 seconds after someone overdone and the level of damage can range from mild to severe.
It is estimated that 25 to 33 per cent of patients are admitted to intensive care due to complications from ever-increasing drugs, such as fentanyl and carfentanil, but at the moment there is no way for proper collection of that information, Pitts said.
Electronic health records include a diagnosis of the patient on admission, he said.
But some of these people can be diagnosed with shock or something unclear in an emergency room and brain injuries will be determined later by later laboratory tests, which he said were recorded on a separate system.
"It's shameful, quite frankly," Pitts said of the lack of data on brain injury caused by overdoses, which he would like to monitor at the national level. "It's something that the whole health system needs to do a better job."
Without data, it is impossible to measure the resources used in hospitals or how best to use community resources, Pitts said.
"How can we adjust the way we do business without having the best data to help with those decisions, such as staffing or going to government, and saying," See how many patients are overdosed and have a chronic brain injury. We need to make more primary prevention and secondary prevention, or to fund rehabilitation after firing. "
St. Paul will be among hospitals in the Vancouver area to establish a new electronic health records management system in 2019 to better collect data, but it will not be streamlined across the entire province where multiple systems are used, he said.
Dr. Patricia Delhi, Chief Medical Officer of Health in Vancouver Coastal Health, called the lack of data on brain injuries caused by an overdose of "tragic" because neither patients nor their families receive the support they need.
"We are focusing on deaths, but we forget that there is another group of people who have been adversely affected, some of them seriously."
Nicholas Gnidziejko, manager of clinical administrative database operations for the Canadian Institute of Health Information, said national statistical data on brain damage associated with a overdose crisis would require developing a set of standards for data collection in a consistent and comprehensive manner, but not there is a system in every province.