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Social support

Filling the Loneliness Void

When you live in a small town, everyone knows your reputation. In school, James often found that he was the outcast and viewed as a trouble-maker. Eventually crime and drug use became a way to fit in with a group and find any sort of connection with others. In and out of juvie and then the adult system, he took an opportunity to enter a treatment and recovery program. With his sentence complete this year, James looks forward to bringing the insights he’s discovered with him and continuing his work to build healthy and supportive relationships.

Writing Through Loneliness

By Grade 8, Tabitha found that drinking and drug use made it a lot easier to fit in, and drugs became part of her life. When her father and then her best friend died of a heroin overdose, Tabitha tried to change her own substance use, but social connections were challenging because drug use was everywhere in her community, and Tabitha found herself drowning in grief…alone. Now sober, she reflects on her path to accept her past, find new connections and reconnect with all parts of her story.

Treatments: What Works?

It seems like everyone has an opinion when it comes to treatments for mental health or substance use problems. To add to the confusion, it isn’t always obvious who is basing their opinions on real evidence and who is not. And while we often hear people talk about evidence-based treatments, it’s also clear that complementary and alternative medicine approaches are helpful for some.

It’s Not a Burden

My dad has been ill for my entire life—I'm 31 years old. He has struggled with alcohol dependence, which masked an anxiety disorder, for over 30 years. When I was in high school, he declined sharply and ended up losing his job and his business.


When we talk about mental illnesses and substance use problems, it’s easy to talk in clinical terms: that person has this symptom, or that person uses a certain drug. But recovery is so much bigger than a checklist.

Parents Forever

Parents Together, a program to help parents with a child’s difficult behaviour, saved Frances’ life and her marriage. But what if one of those difficult behaviours was drug use? Frances thought that the Parents Together model could help parents whose adult children use substances—and 12 years later, Parents Forever is still a source of comfort, support, strategies and coping skills.

Social support

Learn more about social support. Social support is the support you receive from other people like families and friends. It can be informal, like sharing experiences with a friend, or formal, like meeting others with similar experiences in a support group. Social support has a huge impact on our health and well-being and is a key factor in dealing with substance use problems.

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