Open house marks national addiction awareness week

Between 2004 and 2011 substances were the primary cause of death for an average of 20 people each year in the Central Okanagan.

An Open House during National Addictions Awareness Week (Nov.19 to 25) will 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 for the event.

It takes place Thursday, Nov. 22, 2:30 to 5:30 p.m., at Trinity Baptist Church, 1905 Springfield Rd.

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.

“Each year, between 2004 and 2011 the B.C. 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 said.

She says the Centre for Addiction Research B.C. reports that the Interior Health Authority region has the most hospitalizations from alcohol and other drug overdoses. “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 there are far too many myths and misnomers associated with addiction. “As an organization that is involved with people at the point of crisis, we recommend this resource to…learn and know more about the issues surrounding addiction.

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