Opioid use dialogue events coming to Revelstoke

The city has received funding from the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research

Seeds of dialogue, Tree of understanding is the first of a series of events, in Revelstoke, to initiate community dialogues on opioid use. The interactive art installation will be set up at LUNA on Sept. 28. (Submitted)

The City of Revelstoke received grant funding from the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research through the University of Victoria to initiate community dialogues on opioid use.

Working together to tackle substance use challenges in Revelstoke is not new. A lengthy history dates back to 2010 with the release of the Revelstoke Community Substance Use Strategy, out of which came the City of Revelstoke’s Youth Advisory Committee and in 2015 the Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Collaborative. But the work isn’t done.

READ MORE: Decriminalizing drugs the next steps in fighting B.C.’s opioid crisis, doctor says

Between January and August of 2018, Revelstoke had six deaths attributed to substance use overdose in our community. There are no numbers how many reversed overdoses have occurred.

Unfortunately, many of these deaths happened to men when they were alone in their homes. The recent history of opioid overdose in Canada means that almost all of us have been impacted. Something has to change. So, with support from the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, we thought it best to start at the beginning, with simple conversation.

We invite you to the Community Dialogue on Opioid Use. Through four unique experiences, the community (including doctors, emergency services, educators, people with lived and living experience, artists, humanitarians, neighbours, business owners – we really mean the entire community) will come together to break down walls and come to a new and deeper understanding of opioid use and substance use in Revelstoke.

In these freely flowing group conversations, participants will attempt to reach a common understanding and experience everyone’s point of view fully, equally and non-judgmentally.

The events are:

Luna Art Installation: Seeds of dialogue, Tree of understanding

On Saturday, Sept. 28 for Luna, outside of City Hall, people will write thoughts on a seed that come to mind after watching a short video.

Please join us. These seeds will follow us throughout the remainder of the Community Dialogue events. They will be “planted” at each event and we’ll watch them “grow” into understanding within our community.

Community Meal: On the Table

Oct. 20-26

Imagine RCMP alongside people who access the foodbank, physicians alongside mothers of children with severe mental health challenges, private practitioners alongside people who are homeless, and educators alongside people who have lost a loved one to overdose.

Cooking and sharing a meal together has the potential to unite a community as we shed labels, and come together as equals. This meal will be a safe space where no one needs to disclose their intent behind being there unless they choose to.

READ MORE: Communities must unite to solve opioid crisis: Okanagan Indigenous leaders

Panel Mixer

Nov. 6-13

Beginning with a brief background and state of the work on substance use locally and in the province, panelists including local practitioners working in the field, people with lived experience, and other stakeholders, will make themselves available to speak, but also listen.

Using technology to allow for anonymous questions, comments, and dialogue, we will all come to a better understanding of the local landscape and local experiences.

Welcome Week: Connecting Newcomers & the Community

Nov. 23-30

In this week of free or low-cost events coupled with a spirit of celebration, we will celebrate people living in Revelstoke and new Revelstokians while teaching about substances and resources available locally. With a focus on keeping people safe, we will encourage people to better understand what Revelstoke has to offer while listening to the experiences of those who are arriving here. Welcome Week is an opportunity to share our passion for Revelstoke and inspire newcomers to get involved.



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