National Addictions Awareness Week features local drop-in events

quitWhether you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, the Chatham-Kent Community Health Centres (CKCHC) are here to assist. The CKCHC and its resident Addictions Counselor have organized a free drop-in event for local citizens who are seeking support and/or information in regards to addictions. Featured throughout this event will be the various resources that are available in the Chatham-Kent community. Participants are encouraged to pose questions which will be fielded by the Addictions Counselor and a Registered Nurse who are both University-of-Toronto-trained Smoking Cessation Counselors.

This community service that the CKCHC is providing marks National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW) which occurs during the week of November 17-21. Led nationally by the Canadian Centre of Substance Abuse, NAAW highlights issues and solutions to help address alcohol- and other drug-related harm. It provides an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about substance abuse prevention, to talk about treatment and recovery, and to bring forward solutions for change. It is important to raise awareness as it not only removes the stigma associated with addictions but it makes individuals who may be suffering from one feel more inclusive in their community. According to Statistics Canada’s December 2013 Health Profile, 19% of Chatham-Kent residents are reported heavy drinkers and 20.9% are reported daily smokers. These are higher than the provincial average of 16.9% and 14.4%, respectively.

The CKCHC kicked off NAAW with the 4th annual Chatham-Kent Addictions Awareness Conference on Friday, November 14. In partnership with Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Mental Health & Addictions Program, Canadian Mental Health Association and Westover Treatment Centre, this well-attended conference featured returning speaker, Dr. Gabor Maté and will focus on family restoration. The CKCHC drop-in event will then take place over the span of four days with dates and times as follows: November 17 & 20 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Chatham office and November 18 & 21 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the Wallaceburg office. The Addictions Counselor will be present for information sharing and one-on-one discussions during the entirety of the event. The Registered Nurse will be available during the November 21st session.