Drug Poisoning and the Pandemic

Thoughts on International Overdose Awareness Day 2023

We lead multifaceted lives, and the deaths of those we love who have died by drug poisoning contain multitudes. The death of a loved one can bring intense grief, shock, anger, shame, or guilt. People who use drugs, and those who love them that they leave behind, face stigma in North America’s dominant, settler culture.

Joyce -The pandemics impact on drug poisonings

Joyce talks about drug poisonings during the pandemic

Nicole – Working in Community Outreach

Nicole discusses her work in community outreach and how she has lived experience with addiction and living rough.

Kate – Things I do that help

Kate talks about how art, hiking and visiting the cemetery can be very therapeutic

Kristal – Activism To Ease Anger and Grief

Kristal discusses using activism to help ease or channel her anger from the loss of those in her community to drug poisoning. She talks about her grief being very quiet and inward before, but that taking action helps her to move through it. She discusses how there may not be peace from these losses, but the goal should rather be feeling safe in the emotions.

Nicole – Pandemic’s Effect on Safe Spaces and Mental Health Access

Nicole discusses how the pandemic affected access to safe spaces and shelters for those living rough and living with addiction.

Christian – COVID amplified the inequities in society

Christian talks about those that have very little and how COVID amplified their difficulties

Kristal – Story of Lived Experience

Kristal discusses experiencing homelessness at multiple stages of her life and how that informs her work as a peer support worker. It gives her an understanding of the nuance that surrounds the community. She uses this experience to support people who are experiencing grief related to death from drug poisoning.

Kate – My art and my brother

Kate talks about being an artist and expression through art can remind her of her brothers encouragement

Kristal – Professional Experience and Work

Kristal discusses being a peer support woker, working on a one on one level with community members to help them with their goals related to substance abuse. She supports those in the community dealing with loss and grief. She speaks to everyone’s experience with loss and grief being very individual.

Laura- Loss to Covid & Disconnection

Christian – Language around those pushed to the margins

Christian talks about how people who are pushed to the margins are not discussed as part of our community and how we need to include them. As a community how do we care for our neighbours and how do we mourn the loss of our neighbours