Father Fears Prescription Drug Epidemic After Teen Dies Of Overdose

By Nancy Kelly

Transcontinental Media


A grieving father brought his pain and fears about an epidemic of prescription drug abuse to the June 21 meeting of Kings County’s Police Services Advisory Board in Kingston.


Jim MacDonald’s 19 year-old daughter Katanna MacDonald died June 20 in Valley Regional Hospital after an apparent accidental overdose of the prescription drug methadone.


“When I heard about this meeting, I knew I had to come to tell people how dangerous these drugs are and how they are killing our children and devastating our community,” he said.


MacDonald was called home to Nova Scotia Monday from Western Canada, where he works in the oil industry, after his daughter was found non-responsive in her Greenwood home. She was transported to hospital, where testing showed methadone was in her system. MacDonald said that the methadone was not prescribed by a physician.


MacDonald, who lives in Kingston, subsequently learned from one of his daughter’s friends that Katanna purchased the methadone, a powerful synthetic drug used in the treatment of opiate dependency, from someone in Aylesford.


“I came home to something no parent should have to deal with,” said MacDonald, explaining the drug stopped Katanna’s heart.


“They were able to re-start her heart, but it was too late for her. Her brain and her organs had shut down.”


Sgt. Jamie Greene of the Kingston RCMP detachment confirmed an investigation is underway into the teen’s death, but could offer no details.


The open meeting of the advisory board offered the public an opportunity to air concerns about crime and community policing.  Illegal drug activity and property crime were prevalent topics among those in attendance.


MacDonald came to the meeting, “not to badmouth the RCMP,” he said, but to encourage them to address “what is becoming a huge problem everywhere.


“People are making money selling these drugs to our kids. My heart goes out to other families who have gone through this.”


For more, see Tuesday’s edition of The Advertiser.

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