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Letters  

The fentanyl crisis

Anybody who is even a casual reader of the news is well aware of the catastrophic and devastating effects fentanyl is having on our youth, our city, our community and beyond. A quick look at the death statistics across the province and in Kelowna tells a grim and heartbreaking tale. Interior Health and other agencies are scrambling to curb these numbers by providing safe spaces for addicts and providing medication to counteract overdoses, and while I applaud these efforts, they are ultimately short term fixes.

I am writing today to offer a long term solution. SMART Recovery is a the leading self-empowering addiction recovery support group. Our participants learn tools for addiction recovery based on the latest scientific research and participate in a world-wide community which includes free, self-empowering, science-based mutual help groups. SMART Recovery's 4-Point Program helps people recover from all types of addictive behaviours, including: alcoholism, drug abuse, substance abuse, drug addiction, alcohol abuse, gambling addiction, cocaine addiction, and addiction to other substances and activities.

Our approach is to support individuals who have chosen to abstain, or are considering abstinence from any type of addictive behaviours (substances or activities), by teaching how to change self-defeating thinking, emotions, and actions, and to work towards long-term satisfactions and quality of life. To achieve this goal we teach self-empowerment and self-reliance, encourage individuals to recover and live satisfying lives, teach tools and techniques for self-directed change, meetings are educational and include open discussions,and advocate the appropriate use of prescribed medications and psychological treatments.

While 12-step programs have helped many, many people with addiction issues SMART is a non-religious program. SMART relies on a variety of tools based on cognitive behavioural therapy and rational emotive behavioural therapy to build and maintain motivation, cope with urges, manage thoughts feelings and behaviours and ultimately live a balanced life. If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction of any kind please come and check out our website (smartrecovery.org) or attend one of our three free weekly meetings:

Mondays: Westbank Lions Community Centre – 2466 Main Street @ 7 pm.
Tuesdays: CNIB Building - 1456 St. Paul Street @ 7 pm.
Thursdays: Living Positive Resource Centre – 168 Asher Road @ 7 pm.

All are welcome in these non-judgemental meetings, we have plenty of free materials to help you get started and guide you on your way to and through recovery. The meetings are only an hour long so I would urge those who are merely curious to drop in and see what we are all about. Sobriety and prosperity are possible with help. Hope to see you there.

Paul Hearnden
SMART Recovery Facilitator



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