Regina Man Battles Personal Addiction While Fighting Fentanyl Epidemic


In the face of record-breaking fentanyl seizures in Regina, one man, Daniel Missens, has taken up the mantle to combat the lethal drug and shed light on its devastating effects. Tied to drugs from the impressionable age of 12 as a means to escape the turmoil of a broken home, Missens started his lifelong battle with addiction.

He explains his journey through addiction with disarming honesty. “Drugs were my outlet,” Missens said. “They dissipated the chaos, wrapping me in a comforting cocoon of detachment. I found joy, peace, contentment. The reality of my world was temporarily suspended.” He has had his dalliances with the spectrum of drugs, from marijuana and cocaine to hydromorphine, crystal meth, and ultimately, fentanyl.

“I still turn to fentanyl every now and then. It’s a battle I continue to fight,” he admitted, wearing the scars of addiction for the world to see. Nevertheless, he takes pride in his recent accomplishment – three weeks of abstaining from drug use. “Perhaps, I can keep it up,” he adds, a spark of hope glimmering in his tone.

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid potent enough to be about 100 times stronger than morphine, according to Health Canada, has crept up increasingly into mainstream conversations around drug use. For Missens, it was not just the high but also the tranquilizing contentment the drug offered that drew him in. “Fentanyl knocks you out and cocoons you in a state of serene bliss, oblivious to your realities, your emotions are numbed.”

Fentanyl is reportedly making its presence keenly felt among Regina’s homeless population, accounting for a surge in overdoses. Poverty-stricken as they are, many fear falling victims to theft while unconscious due to the drug’s effects. Consequently, many choose to yield to the seductive pull of the drug in solitude. “It is not the drug that is fatal,” Missens explained. “It’s the isolation that makes it deadly. There’s a lack of a safety net, a lack of companionship. They would rather risk their lives than their possessions.”

During a recent hospital visit, Missens felt a surge of motivation to address the fentanyl crisis and inform people about its lethal nature. He ardently recollected, “It was time to do something about this menace that had claimed so many lives – friends, loved ones, everyone I knew.”

Despite Regina police’s commendable efforts in seizing a record 10.4 kilograms of fentanyl this year, combating this drug epidemic goes beyond the realm of legality. It’s a fight against the symptoms and the cause. According to Staff Sergeant Kelly Campbell with the Regina Police Service, “The focus is on not just legal enforcement and seizures but managing those at risk because of drug use.”

With newfound determination and the glory of three weeks of sobriety to his name, Missens envisages a future devoid of the burdens of addiction. He states, “I strive to stay focused, remain determined, be the epitome of positive influence for my children.” His tranquility stems from this intent: to share his story, to challenge and inspire, to give voice to a shared struggle in the fight against the fentanyl crisis.

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Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.


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