Improving communication to fight substance abuse

Nearly three dozen representatives from various agencies in the North Thompson Valley as well as Kamloops took part

Members of the Clearwater Local Action Team pose for a picture during a meet-and-greet held at the local Legion on Wednesday afternoon

The people working to help those with substance abuse issues should personally know the people in other agencies working on the same issues.

That would seem obvious but a needs assessment done in the Clearwater area found that was not always the case, even in this small community, according to Dr. John Soles, a member of the CYMHSU (child and youth mental health and substance use) Clearwater Action Team.

It was to meet this gap that the team sponsored a meet-and-greet at Clearwater Legion on Wednesday afternoon, April 12.

Nearly three dozen representatives from various agencies in the North Thompson Valley as well as Kamloops took part.

Those attending watched some educational videos and broke into groups to discuss various issues, but the main focus was to share a meal together and get to know one another.

A similar meet-and-greet was held last year and organizers were looking forward to seeing if there had been an improvement.

Another gap the survey uncovered was the need for an inter-agency consent form, said Soles. Without such a form, case-workers with one agency could not contact people in another agency about  a client without violating that client’s privacy rights.

A third gap identified was education.

To help fill that gap, the local action team worked with School District 73 and Clearwater Secondary School to host a community drug awareness session at the school on April 13.

Other educational activities being planned include a youth summit to be held at CSS in May in cooperation with the RCMP, as well as speakers to visit in the fall.

Heroin does not cause heroin addiction

Although the meet-and-greet was primarily a social function, some interesting and useful information was exchanged.

For example, one of the videos shown said that it used to be believed that addictive drugs cause addiction – if you take heroin long enough, you will become addicted, no matter what.

The classic experiment was to put a rat into a cage and give it a choice of pure water to drink or water laced with heroin or cocaine. After a while the rat would drink nothing but the water laced with drug and eventually it would die.

More recent experiments, however, have shown that the causal chain is not so simple.

If, instead of having just one solitary rat there are a group of rats in the experiment, and they are given a varied environment with a multitude of things to do, the rats will drink little or none of the drug-laced water.

“It’s not the chemical; it’s your cage,” was the message. “The opposite of addiction is not sobriety – it’s connection.”

 

Just Posted

Nearly $500,000 available for internships with First Nations government

Funds announced through partnership with Northern Development and Government of Canada

Biomass heater construction begins

The new biomass heater will use wood-chips to provide heat to the Sportsplex, rather than propane

Wells Gray Search and Rescue plans for a new headquarters

In recent times the team has struggled with inadequate space for training, equipment storage, etc.

Heart and stroke volunteers needed

When you think about helping other people you’re simply not thinking as much about yourself

Water upgrades face budget overrun

The lowest bid for a pump-house and other improvements came in at about five per cent over budget

Solitary-confinement veto a chance to address mental health: advocate

B.C. Supreme Court made the landmark ruling Wednesday

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

B.C. coast loggers celebrate history, hope for improvement

Truck Loggers Association awaits B.C. NDP government’s new direction

Global Affairs aware of report of two Canadians kidnapped in Nigeria

The foreigners were heading south from Kafanchan to Abuja when they were ambushed around Kagarko

Whistler role in potential Calgary Olympic bid would be welcome: IOC

Calgary is mulling whether to vie for the 2026 Games, and could look to facilities in B.C.

Food industry failing at voluntary sodium reduction: Health Canada

Health Canada report shows the food industry made no meaningful progress in curtailing salt levels

Most Read