I wasn't aware until I got the press release but did you know that this week is National Addictions Awareness Week? As Shelley Gilmore, Executive Director of Crossroads, says "its not a sexy topic that folks really want to talk about but addictions effect in the community is horrendous". There is an Open House this Thursday as part of National Addictions Awareness Week. The goal of the event is to showcase the wide variety of resources available to help people in the Central Okanagan.
Representatives from more than 30 agencies and organizations that actively work to assist people struggling with or impacted by substance abuse will be on hand during the event at Trinity Baptist Church, 1905 Springfield Road on Thursday, November 22nd from 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm.
Crossroads released a video this week as part of their drive to increase awareness about the horendous effects of addiction in our community.
Christene Walsh, Social Development Coordinator with the Regional District of Central Okanagan says, “Acknowledging local resources and the vital services they provide our community is one key benefit of this event, yet sharing this knowledge with the broader community is just as essential.” She adds, “Each year between 2004 and 2011 the BC Coroners Service reported substances were the primary cause of death for an average of 20 people in the Central Okanagan and there were likely more deaths where substances were a contributing factor.”
Walsh says the Centre for Addiction Research BC reports that the Interior Health Authority region has the most hospitalizations from alcohol and other drug overdoses. “Therefore” she adds, “the goal of the event is to raise awareness of the services that may prevent or respond to the often devastating impact of substance misuse and related issues. Support is available for people seeking healthier lives. We want Central Okanagan residents to realize there is a wide range of resources locally because people often turn to friends or family first for help, advice and guidance.”
Visitors to the Open House will find resource display booths showcasing supportive recovery housing; shelter, support and transitional housing; community peer support; child, youth and family resources as well as community and residential treatment services.
Laurence East, Lead Pastor and Executive Director of Metro Community says Having a coordinated opportunity like this, to learn about issues surrounding addictions and related behaviours, is absolutely crucial in our community. There are far too many myths and misnomers associated with addiction, and the more we can do to learn and resource ourselves as individuals and organizations, the better. As an organization that is involved with people at the point of crisis, we recommend this resource to both professionals and anyone seeking to learn and know more about the issues surrounding addiction. Metro will be participating and we will be attending as a staff team!"
Members of the public interested in learning more about programs and services available within the Central Okanagan can also visit an online Community Info Search at www.kcr.ca or may phone Kelowna Community Resources at 250-763-8008.