Getting to Tomorrow: Ending the Overdose Crisis

Beyond COVID-19

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Community dialogues bringing Canadians together to realize a shared vision for change to address the overdose crisis. Select from the communities in the map below to learn about the issues and people at the heart of this crisis—and solutions to it. #GettingToTomorrow

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Latest Blog Posts

Just a Part of Me

Addiction is only a part of me. So take the time to listen, and you may learn a thing or two about who I really am.

Don’t make me a project for I, like you, am a person

I ask that you walk beside me so that we can learn from each other.

Watching a snowflake melt

Seeing substance use as a moral failing doesn’t help. It makes you feel stigma and shame, which makes it harder to change.

The minute I was labelled…I became a case file

I used drugs to find purpose and freedom. Today, I find freedom in love and purpose in sacrifice and service.

When people stop their judgement, then they’ll see the truth

Stigma and judgement have real and harmful consequences. Change starts with us, and how we see and treat others

Service restrictions related to substance use cause further trauma and harm to people who use drugs

People who use drugs have woken up from an overdose to find out that they no longer have a bed to sleep in for the night because they were service restricted for overdosing in the shelter.

Giving a voice to those at the centre: Thoughts and reflections from a person who uses drugs

I am still living it every day—the stigma of substance use. Life is a huge challenge.. The “day to day” that most of us take for granted.

Services and help for those who want it are too hard to access. The system isn’t designed for us

There are many people out there who want to get help but can’t.

COVID-19 is making the overdose crisis worse. I see it first hand

When you use drugs alone it’s a lot more dangerous because there’s no one there to help you if you overdose

The double standard between alcohol and drugs reveals the harmful nature of stigma

“Back in prohibition days for alcohol, folks were dying from homemade hooch. I wonder how many places in Canada serve alcohol now?”

"You cannot arrest your way out of an opioid crisis."

Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada (The Canadian Press, Aug. 23, 2020)

"Everybody needs a safe place to use, and they need a safe drug to use."

Matt Bonn, Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs (CBC, Oct. 6, 2020 / Photo credit: Caora McKenna)

"The evidence shows us that supervised consumption sites and services save lives and can provide people who use drugs with access to health and social services and treatment."

Hon. Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, Canada (The Canadian Press, Aug. 20, 2020)

"We need to put as much time and effort and kindness and compassion into caring for people who use drugs as we have been successful in doing in responding to the COVID-19 crisis."

Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer of British Columbia (Global News, July 16, 2020)

"A person’s worth isn’t based on the substances they put in their body and it doesn’t help when we push them away."

Erica Thomson Peer Coordinator at Fraser Health

Erica Thomson, Peer Coordinator (Fraser Health, May 14, 2018)

"Stigmatizing and criminalizing those affected by substance use disorders is an ineffective strategy that often increases harm."

Elaine Hyshka, Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, University of Alberta (Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Sept. 26, 2019)