The common pill that's killing in the shadow of the opioid crisis (Dr. Keith Ahamad, BCCSU)

To this day, Wendy Golden has no idea why her son Kody Cook chose to swallow what he did on June 24, 2014. Sure, he smoked weed and liked his Budweiser, but the medical examiner's report would later classify him as a “naive” user. In other words, he was hardly an addict.

That night, around 11 p.m., Golden arrived back at her Amherst, N.S., home after her shift at a local convenience store to find Kody lying on her couch. When she went to rouse the 20-year-old to go to bed, she realized he wasn't breathing.

“In this current overdose epidemic, what it's done really is pull back the curtain to really show that we don't have a functioning addictions system,” according to Dr. Keith Ahamad, a family doctor and researcher at the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU).

Richard Cuthbertson reports.

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