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Gone Too Soon: Navigating Grief and Loss as a Result of Substance Use

Gone Too Soon: Navigating Grief and Loss as a result of Substance Use

This handbook was written by the BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) in collaboration with the BC Bereavement Helpline (BCBH) and the BC Coroners Service.

The handbook was created with the guidance of Leslie McBain and Jennifer Woodside, who generously shared their stories and experiences and what they wish they had known in the immediate days after they lost children to drug-related harms, as well as what they wished they had known in the months and years after.

The handbook covers emotions and responses you may experience, tips to take care of yourself, practical considerations in the wake of this tragedy, and stories from people who have lost loved ones.

Click here to download a free copy of this important handbook 

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New centre at VGH streamlines care for mental health and substance use clients

Vancouver, BC – Vancouver Coastal Health has opened a new centre to streamline access to mental health and substance use services. The Access and Assessment Centre (AAC) at Vancouver General Hospital will take pressure off emergency departments and provide a central location where clients with mental health and substance use problems can access health care services and information, including an onsite assessment.

The Access and Assessment Centre consolidates a number of existing services under one roof, including Acute Home Based Mental Health Treatment, Mental Health Emergency Services (Car 87/88 partnership with Vancouver Police Department) and Vancouver Adult Mental Health Intake Assessment services. New services include self/family referrals, 24/7 phone & walk-in access, and in-depth screening to recommend the best next step for clients. Having one reception, phone and file for patients will lead to more coordinated service and care.

The AAC is a 24/7 Walk-in clinic and phone service for urgent and non-emergency access to VCH Mental Health and Substance Use services (phones & clinic are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week). We provide onsite assessments, phone assessments and clinical outreach to adult (17+) Vancouver residents. No referral or appointment required.

Phone Number: 604.875.8289

Address: 711 West 12th Ave (enter through back lane behind 715 West 12th Ave “Health Centre”).

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11’th Annual Family Conference: FROM CRISIS TO HOPE

The Annual Family Conference on Saturday April 23, 2016 in Vancouver is sponsored by Vancouver Coastal Health, the Family Advisory Committee, British Columbia Schizophrenia Society and Mood Disorders Association of BC. For more detailed information on the conference  click here

Keynote Presentations include:
Access & Assessment Centre (AAC): A New Service for Vancouver Residents to Access Mental Health and Substance Use Services in Vancouver
Monica McAlduff (Director, Vancouver Mental Health & Substance Use Acute, Tertiary & Urgent Services); George Scotton (Manager, Vancouver Access & Assessment Centre, ACT & AOT)

Finding Clarity in Chaos: Principles for Developing Health and Recovery
Dr. Diane Fredrikson (Physician Lead, Early Psychosis Intervention Program, VCH)

When Treatments are Inadequate – New Hope for Patients
Dr. Randall F. White (Medical Director, B.C. Psychosis Program, Clinical Assoc. Professor, UBC)

Panel Discussions:
Support for Families in Need

How Families Can Advocate for Improved Mental Health Care

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Check out “Wasted” on CBC’s The Nature of Things for a fascinating story about alcohol addiction

Filmmaker Maureen Palmer set out to make a documentary following her partner Mike Pond — a psychotherapist and an alcoholic five years sober — as he searched for the best new evidence-based addiction treatments. The intent was to help others battling substance use disorders.

Click here to see the documentary.

Visit Addiction: The Next Step a hub for parents and partners battling addiction.

Stronger Together in Surrey Feb 13-16: Family-led dialogue on the personal impacts of substance use

The BC Centre on Substance Use is hosting Stronger Together: A series of dialogue and learning sessions for families and allies impacted by substance use. We will explore systemic barriers to family support, share promising practices, and brainstorm solutions. We will learn from each other’s experiences, successes, and challenges. Community knowledge will be documented and used to inform substance use service planning, as well as research directions, in your community and province. For more information on what the sessions involve and dates and locations of events visit www.bccsu.ca/Stronger-Together .

Program targets kids at risk of drug abuse

Scaring kids against using drugs or alcohol, or telling them to “just say no,” is not an effective strategy of preventing the misuse of substances, says one local doctor. Instead, a program identifying youth at high risk of substance misuse has proven to be much more impactful.

Click here for a recent news story on Preventure, which is in its third year in the Vernon school district.

Substance use costs Canadians $38.4 billion per year: CISUR/CCSA study

The the University of Victoria’s Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR) ​ and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) is pleased to announce the release of a major new study estimating the economic costs and harms associated with substance use in Canada.

The results of the study indicate that the overall economic cost of substance use in Canada in 2014 was $38.4 billion, or approximately $1,100 for every Canadian regardless of age. Legally available psychoactive substances, tobacco and alcohol, contributed over two-thirds of these costs. Between 2007 and 2014, costs associated with opioids and cannabis increased while those associated with cocaine decreased. Productivity losses amounted to 41 percent of the total cost, while healthcare costs were 29 percent and criminal justice costs were 23 percent of the total cost.

The report can be downloaded from the project website, along with a report in short and infographic.

Portugal Model for Fighting Drug Deaths Appeals To BC

Vancouver Province
> (2017-09-08)
>
> News
> Portugal model for fighting drug deaths appeals to B.C
Dr. João Goulão, who helped create
> Portugal’s policy for combating drug addictions and overdoses, was at the
> Recovery Capital Conference of Canada in New Westminster Thursday.;
> B.C.’s first minister of mental health and addictions says she will take
> an “all-ministry” approach to the overdose crisis, influenced in part by
> Portugal’s renowned policy for drug use and addiction.
>
>
> Minister Judy Darcy met with Dr.
>
>
> João Goulão, Portugal’s national drug coordinator, at this week’s Recovery
> Capital Conference of Canada in New Westminster.
>
>
> In 1998, Goulão was part of a committee that developed policy to deal with
> a deadly drug crisis in his country, during which one per cent of the
> population was addicted.
>
>
> Through measures such as decriminalization, treatment on demand and the
> expansion of treatment facilities, Portugal’s overdose-death rate
> plummeted while public perception of addiction shifted from viewing it as
> a criminal issue to one of health.
>
>
> By 2015, Portugal had an average of three overdose deaths per one million
> people, according to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug
> Addiction.
>
>
> In B.C. this year, amid a fentanyl-related public health emergency, there
> have been 313 deaths per one million people, up from 206 last year.
>
>
> After her meeting with Goulão, Darcy said she saw “a pathway to hope”
> through Portugal’s subsidized employment and housing programs for people
> in recovery, and its focus on counselling, treatment and education.
>
>
> “I think we have so much to learn from them,” Darcy said.
>
>
> In Portugal, addiction is treated as a medical issue and a chronic
> disease. It offers drug users an appointment with a doctor as soon as they
> seek help and then creates a “tailor-made” treatment and recovery plan.
> Failure to comply can lead to penalties such as fines or community
> service.
>
>
> B.C.’s new government is promising to implement its own “askonce,
> get-help-fast” approach to treatment and recovery.
>
>
> “There are people out there doing amazing work, but it isn’t a system,
> Darcy said. “It’s not co-ordinated, it’s not seamless and we have all of
> these silos.”
>
>
> Following a tour Wednesday of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Goulão said
> he was shocked by what he saw.
>
>
> “It reminds me of the worst times in Portugal during the heroin epidemic
> in the ’90s,” he said.
>
>
> Goulão was surprised by the neighbourhood’s uncoordinated harm reduction,
> treatment and recovery systems.
>
>
> While he doesn’t know whether Portugal’s system is directly adaptable to
> B.C., he believes political will could bring agencies together for a
> system that functions better.
>
>
> “I saw so many responses – every corner,” he said. “What I kept from the
> visit that I made is that there (is) probably a lack of communication and
> articulation of the work of those different institutions.”
>
>
> Darcy said she would build a coordinated, easy-to-navigate system that
> provides affordable programs as well as follow-ups after treatment.
>
>
> She said her short-term goal is to bring all agencies and ministries video
> See a video with this story at theprovince.com responsible together to
> address the overdose crisis.
>
>
> “Our approach is really an all-government approach. We have to be bold. We
> have no choice.”
>
>
> Goulão said his impression of Darcy was she had a good plan in place.
>
>
> “Clearly, I was very impressed with her speech (at the conference),” he
> said. “I could subscribe (to) it entirely, and I hope that she has the
> political and social conditions to go on with what she proposed.”
>
>
> Conference spokesman Marshall Smith said it was important to invite Goulão
> so the recovery community could better understand the Portuguese model,
> including misconceptions about decriminalization.
>
>
> Smith said after listening to a broad array of delegates from all areas of
> B.C.’s additions-treatment community, he believed B.C. may be ready to
> “take a page out of” Portugal’s policy.
>
>
> “I think we’re starting to see the type of will that is needed to explore
> this, at least on some smaller, pilot basis,” Smith said.
>
>
> “That could be a very exciting breakthrough.”
>
>
neagland@postmedia.com twitter.com/nickeagland
>

My Brother The Addict

Some days I’ll use my go-to line, “He’s still finding himself.” Other days I’ll play it straight, “He’s a drug addict and alcoholic with mental-health issues.”

I always hope my date will just ask me about our truly amazing childhood instead.

click here to read more

Continue Advocacy Work for New BC Government By Doing These Things

As you know, the 2017 BC Election is still unfolding, and the final results of the election will be revealed later this month. After government is formed the 100 days that follow are important – cabinet ministers will be chosen, the opposition selected, and the pressing issues within the province prioritized.

With so much change on the horizon, now is the time to amplify our voices to ensure our provincial leadership keeps mental health and addictions care top of mind. The impact of our b4stage4 work is already evident – check out the newly-released Impact Report to get a sense of what we’ve achieved so far. The report also outlines how the three major political party platforms reflect the five pillars of b4stage4.

We’ve also built two new printable tools for our supporters, available online:

1.      An infographic to help answer the frequently asked question What does stage 4 mean?

2.      A printable poster for office kitchens, community boards, etc.

 

This type of impact is only possible because of dedicated supporters like you! We can’t wait to move the campaign to the next level.