TagsHealth & Wellness

Double trouble: Dual health crises pose unique challenge

When Harm Reduction Coordinator Lesley Coates received the latest quarterly report on provincial overdose statistics, it confirmed what she and colleagues had been hearing anecdotally from the community for weeks. They had seen a steady, yet slow decline in overdose deaths over the last two years (139 in 2019, compared to 233 in 2018). The…

TagsHealth & Wellness

An overdose emergency – four years later

More than four years ago B.C. declared a public health emergency in the face of unprecedented overdose deaths. Since that time, more than 789 lives have been lost within the Interior Health community. Important progress has been made and the evidence is promising. Research from the BC Centre for Disease Control shows that harm reduction…

TagsCommunity & Culture

End the stigma: Jill’s story

Jill is blond, fit and full of energy. She often wears her hair in a bouncy ponytail. But there is a sadness around Jill’s eyes that somehow conflicts with the spring in her step.  The Okanagan mother of two recently retired from a career as a renal nurse. She spends her days in the mountains,…

TagsCommunity & Culture

Words matter: stigma hurts those left behind

Stigma. It’s a word used to describe shame and fear of judgment. It’s also the No. 1 barrier people with substance use disorders cite for not seeking help. And if you thought health-care providers are somehow immune and don’t carry prejudices, you would be wrong. Like most health-care workers, RN Shari Smith* has dedicated her…

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