Addictions is a complex topic! People everyday are struggling with addictions that include such things as: drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, food and work. When these elements hijack life and become all-consuming for the person, it often becomes a problem in their ability to fulfill daily commitments, maintain employment and/or relationships, and to stay safe. Addictions, much like brain injury and mental health challenges, impact the entire family.

An important understanding is to know that the person who lives with an addiction is not being lazy, lacks will power or is unmoral. More often than not the person is attempting to deal with pain – physical pain, emotional pain, spiritual pain. We believe addictions are trauma based and prefer to ask, “what has happened to you” rather than “what is wrong with you”.

Suffering from an addiction does not mean the person cannot or won’t be able to turn their life around. There are many people who have found great success in groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Recovery Plans or Treatment Supports.

Note: If you need help or are with someone who has overdosed, IMMEDIATELY call 9-1-1 and follow the Save Me protocol while waiting for first responders.


Know that you are protected by the new Canadian Good Samaritan law. You will not be arrested or charged for drug possession by police if you call 9-1-1 to save the life of someone who overdoses.


  • Stimulate. Check if the person is responsive, can you wake them up?
  • Airway. Make sure there is nothing in the mouth blocking the airway, or stopping them from breathing.
  • Ventilate. Help them breathe. Plug the nose, tilt the head back and give one breath every 5 seconds.
  • Evaluate. Do you see any improvement?
  • Muscular injection. Inject one dose (1cc) of naloxone into a muscle. Click here to learn more about Naloxone and how to safely administer it.
  • Evaluate and support. Is the person breathing? If they are not awake in 5 minutes, give one more 1cc dose of naloxone.
  • If you need to leave the person alone for any reason, place them into the recovery position before you leave to keep the airway clear and prevent choking.
  • Turn onto the side.
  • Place hand under head to support the head.
  • Place the top leg slightly in front of the leg touching the ground and place the knee to the ground to prevent the body from rolling into the stomach.


1 in 5 Canadians / nearly 1,000,000 in BC suffer from an addiction

The Opioid Crisis is escalating with nearly 4,000 Canadians dying from an overdose in 2017

In BC, death from overdoses continue to increase. 523 people died n 2015, 974 in 2016 and 1,399 in 2017

90% of overdoses are unintentional

Many of the fatalities occur at home

The Canadian Institute for Health reports that above the fatalities, there are 17 people across Canada taken to the hospital daily for opioid poisoning.


If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction and need help call 1-800-663-1441 to obtain information about Alcohol and Drug Programs or for a referral.

Educate yourself in supporting a loved one with an addiction – this also means taking care of yourself.


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