Substance Use News: Community Voices

With the grim news that March was the second-deadliest month for overdose deaths in BC history, it’s clear that the overdose epidemic is still raging. Awareness, education and advocacy continue to be important, alongside the amazing harm reduction efforts of people across communities in BC. Here, some resources featuring community voices.

Sites to Check Out

At the beginning of the year, the provincial government launched a public awareness campaign on drug use that you’ve probably seen at bus shelters and the like. A picture of a person will be accompanied with four things that identify them, such as cousin, student, drug user, friend. It urges people to get informed and fight stigma. The campaign is connected to the StopOverdose website, which offers many resources on getting informed, getting help and getting involved.

A more grass-roots campaign that launched in early May was Moms United to Stop the War on Drugs, a collaborative campaign between Moms Stop the Harm (Canada), Moms United to End the War on Drugs (US), and Red de Enlaces Nacionales (Mexico). This collaboration started a social media campaign on May 6 in the lead up to Mother’s Day. Moms Stop the Harm is a network of Canadian families who have lost family members to overdose, and/or who hope to change treatment and recovery options. They advocate for drug policy reform and access to harm reduction, from legalized cannabis to OST.


Community Dialogues on Opioid Use

Would you rather learn face to face? There will be an opioid overdose community dialogue at the White Rock Community Centre on May 23. Discussion will focus on how you can help challenge stigma and support those with substance use challenges.

May 23, 530-730 PM
White Rock community centre
15154 Russell Avenue
Doors and dinner at 5 PM
For more information, email  [email protected]

If you’re interested in hosting your own community dialogue, the BC Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General has provided a second phase of funding to the University of Victoria’s Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research to support them. Learn more about funding  options.


Provide Your Input to Surveys

Two surveys are looking for input from people with lived experience. A drug use survey from Fraser Health seeks the thoughts of people who use drugs and those who know people who use drugs. The goal is to learn how to better give care to people who are using. It’s anonymous, and takes about five minutes to complete. It will be online until June 5th, 2018.

Interior Health is still looking for input from people who use alone, with the hope of learning more about why people are using alone and how to reduce the risk of overdose. This survey is part of their Use Safe site that includes resources for people who use drugs.

If you know of other surveys or resources you’d like to share with PAN members, please let me know.



Questions? Feedback? Get in touch! Janet Madsen, Capacity Building and Knowledge Translation Coordinator,

[email protected]





Image: Focus by Andrew, Flickr (Creative Commons)