The language around substance use issues can help or hinder recovery.
That’s the message of this year’s National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW), an annual campaign from November 12 to 18 led by Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. This year’s NAAW theme is Words Matter, drawing attention to how the use of stigmatizing language can perpetuate false and harmful myths around substance use, and act as a barrier to recovery.
To help combat stigma, CMHA encourages the public to STOP and consider whether language used:
- Stereotypes people with substance use issues?
- Trivializes people with substance use issues?
- Offends people with substance use concerns?
- Patronizes people with substance use issues by treating them as if they were not as good as other people?
NAAW is an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about substance misuse, prevention, and treatment. In Canada, it is estimated that approximately 21 per cent of the population (roughly six million people) will meet the criteria for addiction in their lifetime.
CMHA-WECB offers a Concurrent Program that provides ongoing support to individuals who are experiencing addiction and mental health issues. The program currently offers individual and group support and case management services. The STAGES group (Sobriety Through Accessing Group Education and Support) provides an ongoing maintenance and peer support for individuals who have already received treatment for addictions.
The REACH group (Recovery Education and Creating Hope) is a four week skill building group for individuals that are wanting to learn basic skills to reduce or stop their substance use. This integrated service is offered to clients registered in CMHA services and non-registered clients who may have received treatment elsewhere in the community. The Concurrent Disorders program also offers a Family Support and Education Group for individuals that have a loved one living with a Concurrent Disorder.
For more information on addictions, visit the CMHA-WECB program page.