Beyond the stigma, beyond the statistics, there are the stories of those who have died from substance use, overdose, and suicide. Every day, we think about the people we love. There's so much we understand now that we didn't before, and we wish we could talk to them about it.
This is what we’d say if only we still had the chance. Please read.
Phil Haug lost his son, Alex. These are the words Phil would say to him today.
Kym Porter grieves for her son, Neil. Here are her thoughts for him.
Donna May talks to her daughter. This is what she wants her to hear.
Petra Schulz lost her son Danny when he was just 25. This is her letter to him.
We have lost too much.
It doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t matter where you live. The crisis around substance use in Canada is a problem we must all face head on. We have said goodbye to far too many people—loved ones who deserve to be remembered for more than their struggles. They are our mentors. Our friends. Our parents. Our children. Every one of them has value. Every one of them is missed by someone.
WHAT YOU CAN DO.
Stigma continues to be a reality faced by those who struggle. It is a barrier for people and families who are seeking support. Let’s start having conversations with people in our lives right now. Let’s challenge the stigma of substance use in Alberta.
If anyone in your life is at risk, please make sure you carry a naloxone kit. It can save a life by temporarily reversing the effects of an opioid overdose. In many communities, naloxone is available for free at local pharmacies and agencies.