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Visions Journal

Families, Friends and Substance Use

PDF | EPUB | Vol. 19, No. 2 (2024)

The BC Coroners Service reported that 2,511 BC residents died as a result of unregulated drugs. In November and December 2023, an average of seven people died each day. Yet despite everything we know—that unregulated drugs are cut with increasingly toxic substances, that overdoses are becoming increasingly difficult to reverse with naloxone—society blames the people who use drugs to get through the day and not the systems, policies, assumptions, discriminations, and stigmas that give people little other choice than to use toxic drugs. People who use drugs are people first and foremost—people with family and friends, people who live in your neighbourhood, and people who also have hopes and dreams for a better future. In this issue of Visions, you’ll hear from family members and friends who care about someone that uses or used drugs, some of whom had to confront their own assumptions and biases around drug use. You’ll see the power of relationships, support, and acceptance for everyone. You will also see the fears loved ones confront when they care about someone who uses the toxic unregulated drug supply. There are strategies that keep people alive, and this has to be a priority for everyone.

The Big Picture

Stories + Strategies

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