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October 27, 2017 6:12 pm

Northern Health Project Hopes to Eliminate Stigma

Sunday, April 2, 2017 @ 7:30 AM

Prince George, B.C.- Northern Health has  launched a project  that  is aimed at removing the stigma around drug use.

The project “Stop Stigma. Save Lives” comes at a time when  fatal  drug overdoses  have increased at an alarming rate because of the presence of fentanyl.    Northern Health ‘s  project shares  the stories  and feelings of a dozen people who have  either firsthand, or  family experience of drug use and  the stigma that goes along with it.

Northern Health says  the stigma  that surrounds  those  who suffer from addictions,  can drive  users ‘underground’ where  they will use  drugs alone   where  there is no one  to   help them  should they overdose.   Northern Health also indicates stigma can prevent  people from seeking the  help they need to  break their addiction.

The videos share  stories on a number of themes:

o The impact of empathy on the well-being of people who use drugs

o The persistent and harmful impact of labels

o Experiences of stigma

o The connection between stigma and overdoses

Below is  one of the videos:


The videos  are just one  part of the Stop Stigma. Save Lives project.  The other two parts  have  posters which feature  quotes from  those who participated in the project,   and part three consists of the written stories  from participants on the impact of  substance use and stigma.

All three parts of the project are available  by clicking here:

New participant stories and posters will be added to the campaign website throughout the year.


A video to support fentanyl and drug abusers? Feeling bad about drug abusers isn’t going to change their habits.

Put some effort into the emergency room situation, and how to improve flow.

    Yah but that would take money away from drug abusers.
    I agree, with increasing assist in ER. And where’s our local angiograms, where’s our helicopter ambulance, where’s surgery suite upgrades?

    “Feeling bad about drug abusers isn’t going to change their habits”

    And you know this how?

      gopg2015, and how do you know it will? Where is your proof?

      Maybe you have never been around or close to any drug abuser or alcholic, but how YOU feel about their problem rarely if ever gives them much incentive to change their life. It is an internal struggle that they have to overcome. No amount of “understanding” and “empathy” on the part of the public is going to make a hill of beans to them.

    There is no doubt that efficiency of patient flow is a problem in the ER. What concerns me is the priority of what patients receive the care needed. I would not be a happy person if I took a family member into the ER with a possible cardiac arrest and told to wait because some drug addicted person is hanging on limbo because they chose their life style.

It would be nice to see the/a message included that the “addicts” are not the victims. Often the person abusing substances victimizes family member and friends. They may steal, lie, and abuse the people around them that have tried to support them to change their behaviour over and over. An addict will change their behaviour once they decide to change their behaviour. Yes supports need to be there for when they decide they want to change but until they truly decide to change there is nothing anyone can do.
We should be invested in the youth to support skills development and self esteem. Provide in depth support for the youth that are impacted from living in the cycle of family and community addiction. Support a change in the behaviour that they are learning.

    Should say addicts are not the only victims

Only the willfully blind do not see that opioid prescriptions are the over whelming gateway drugs to opioid addictions . The peddlers of this horror should be held accountable and pay for solutions . Why are they not ?

In that thinking are the majority of elderly people recieving hip replacements or other major surgerie should be addicted to opioids? The stats do not support that. The overwhelming majority of the people are already involved with problematic substance abuse. As the abuse progresses they look for the next step….the next level and that is often opioids as the final level. Further they find fake or exaggerated claims of symptoms when being assessed by physicians.
Investment in the person to assess why they seek to numb their feeling is what is needed. History of trauma, self esteem and self worth are missing in most.
I’m not saying people need hugs or weren’t huged enough as a child. We just need to think different about substance abuse

We are enablling this behaviour by normalizing and condoning it. We don’t treat alcoholism with alcohol. A little less harm reduction and a little more prevention is in order.

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