Removing stigma through conversations

The Houston harm reduction committee is welcoming the community to take part in the conversation about removing the stigma around addiction. The harm reduction committee was formed a year and a half ago and is made up of local service providers who came together around the opioid crisis.

These groups have launched various projects, forming the youth committee, making funding available for supervised activities for youth and setting up safe needle drop boxes in the community. The opioid dialogue project was made available through funding from the University of Victoria. The goal is to start a dialogue in the community about opioid use and attempt to break down the stigma through discussion and understanding.

The Houston Link to Learning has hired two students from their summer program to run the project through the summer with the help of the Houston harm reduction committee. Community activities have already begun. On June 11 when there was a free barbeque for community members to come and learn what to do in the event of an overdose. A health expert came from Smithers to give training on how to administer naloxone, a medication used to block the effects of opioids which is used for overdose prevention. There were three kits donated and 12 community members were trained to administer the life saving medication.

The next upcoming event is a free community dinner on July 17 at 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Houston Seniors Center. There will be discussion on what substance use looks like in the community and what the community can do to cultivate understanding and starting that initial dialogue. There is another meeting being planned for August to continue the work of building compassion and caring within the community for those who need it. Through learning about what addiction actually is and spreading that understanding one conversation at a time, anyone can help put an end to the stigma.

For more information please call Rebecca or Drue at 250 845 2727

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