The loved ones of a Canadian woman made space in her obituary to encourage people suffering from addictions to seek help.
Catherine Soful died on Dec. 20, 2017 at the age of 34 in Vancouver. Described as a bartender and waitress with a passionate spirit and love for the colour yellow, Soful also struggled with addiction and depression.
The obituary, published online by Kearney Funeral Services, states that Soful's recreational drug use quickly became an addiction, leading to an accidental, fatal overdose on fentanyl-laced cocaine.
"Catherine was a great person and didn't deserve this. Her addiction defined her death, but it will not define her memory," the obituary says. "Her family hopes that others like Catherine can learn from this."
The obituary goes on to ask others who are struggling to reach out to their loved ones and local support groups, and take safety measures if they can't stop using.
"Your family and friends love you, and they just want the best for you and don't want to lose you."
Canada is currently in the midst of an opioid crisis that claims lives every day. In 2016, 2,458 people died of opioid overdoses.
Your family and friends love you, and they just want the best for you and don't want to lose you.
"The growing number of overdoses and deaths caused by opioids, including fentanyl, is a public health emergency," the federal government's website says.
Anyone who uses drugs can be at risk of overdosing, according to the government. This includes addicts and recreational users, as well as first-time users and people who don't follow medical instructions in taking their prescriptions.
The federal government is working to improve how they track overdose numbers. They've approved 29 new safe injection sites and increased access to naloxone kits, which can temporarily reverse overdoses until medical help arrives.
Individuals can help loved ones with addictions by getting their own emergency naloxone kits and carrying them at all times.
Soful is survived by her parents and sister. Her memorial will be held on Monday.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story implied Catherine Soful was living in Montreal at the time of her death. She was actually born in Montreal but had been living in Vancouver for the past 7 1/2 years.
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