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Addictions group want locals to take pledge around substance use

Pledge to end stigma

Addictions Matters Kamloops is looking to locals to help end the stigma around substance abuse.

The group wants locals to be aware of the words they use when talking about substance use, and avoid language that stigmatizes the issue.

“These actions, such as using person-first and recovery-oriented language, are simple enough for everybody to do and can result in a tremendous difference to individuals and families impacted by substance use in our communities," says Jessica Mensinger, chair of the organization, in a press release.

The organization is looking to decrease the shame those fighting substance abuse feel in public, which becomes a barrier when they seek treatment.

"Stigmatization and discrimination against individuals with substance use issues gives rise to isolation, increasingly poor health and further marginalization," states the organization in the release, citing the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

The issue is particularly important right now as deaths related to substance use have spiked. The organization points to recent stats from the B.C. Coroners Service showing a spike in May for deaths related to drug toxicity.

A website has been set up for those wanting to participate.

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