These days, Eris Nyx is dressing up like she’s in the Vietnam War.
“I have a full tiger stripe war thing,” she says, referring to the camouflage patterns used during the conflict, “because it’s a war zone out there, and nobody is coming to help us.”
People continue to die around her — people she knows — of drug overdoses, as Canada remains in the grips of a deadly toxic drug crisis that has claimed the lives of tens of thousands.
It’s a crisis that has been blamed on a war — the war on drugs — fuelled by what policy experts and people who use drugs say is a mix of prohibition, criminalization, lack of supports and stigma.
In the face of what she calls government foot-dragging on providing the tools needed to stem the tide of death, Nyx and others are taking action, recently launching a fulfilment centre and compassion club in Vancouver, which procures, tests, repackages, and distributes drugs to people at high risk of overdose.