Revy Let’s Talk: Cocaine, harm reduction and stigma. Oh my!

Stacie Byrne is the project lead for Revelstoke’s Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Abuse Local Action Team. (Submitted)

Story submitted anonymously to Stacie Byrne for this column.

Cocaine is my friend. It’s my release. It’s my reward.

But is it my addiction?

It’s my go to when I’m happy, partying, wanting to stay awake, never wanting the fun to end because I am finally laughing and enjoying life while surrounded by friends.

But I’m trying to cut back on that because of a tainted drug supply.

I’m not gonna lie…life without it isn’t great. It’s lonely. It’s hard to see my old friends.

I laugh, but it doesn’t last as long. I work and try to distract myself.

Sometimes I just go to bed and sleep off the craving and depression. Or I stare at my phone and scroll through the deep pit of social media.

I’m supposed to keep myself busy, but I don’t really have any hobbies and have lost my social circle.

Society has confused what’s legal with what’s moral. I’m not a bad person because I use cocaine. But when some people who know about my substance use talk to me, it feels different.

Like they feel sorry for me or I’m a bad person that they want nothing to do with. But not everyone’s story looks like mine.

Not all people who use substances end up in addiction. Not all people who use substances stay alive. Not all people who die from overdose were addicted.

Substance use and addiction isn’t a choice or a sign of poor self-control and a human flaw.

There are biological, psychological and social factors that all play a role in addiction. Please, educate yourself and use respectful language.

Check out the Canadian Association of People who use Drugs who fight for the decriminalization of drug use.

I have so much I want to do. So much I want to share with the world.

It is hard work; all the time swimming up stream. Sometimes I think I might use again if it was in front of me.

I don’t think that makes me a bad person and I still deserve good things in life.

As long as I hold on just long enough to see another day then there’s a chance that things will get better.

If you are using, be safe and never use alone. Use the harm reduction supports and Naloxone kits from Public Health at Queen Victoria Hospital. Jo-Ann is really great and easy to talk to.

Talk to your doctor, educate yourself on safe use, find your nearest drug testing facility.

Online resources like Toward the Heart, and ANKOR – harm reduction videos make the information easy to understand. Stop Overdose BC has videos and information including “How do you support someone who doesn’t want help?” and “responding when someone reaches out.”

Find more resources at www.RevelstokeCYMHSU.ca and connect with a local support through www.RevelstokeLife.ca.

Stacie Byrne is the Project Lead for the Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use (CYMHSU) Local Action Team, which is a part of a larger Provincial Collaborative working together to support people between the ages of 6-24 years old and their families with mental health and substance use challenges.

The Collaborative works with Service Providers and the community to share how all of the pieces of the recovery puzzle fit together and what is available within and outside of Revelstoke. Stacie is always looking for people’s stories to share.

Just Posted

Growls and Hugs for May 22

Someone or something got your hackles up? Or maybe someone made you… Continue reading

Roads and weather for Revelstoke today

Scheduled construction: Highway 1 east:Paving operations between East Boundary of Mount Revelstoke… Continue reading

Jocelyn’s Jottings: Choice, government interference and abortion

Government officials in Alabama recently passed a law enforcing a near-total ban… Continue reading

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for May 22

120 Years Ago: Revelstoke Herald, May 20, 1899 Great improvements had been… Continue reading

Another climate rally scheduled for Friday in Revelstoke

Join students at City Hall to call for climate action

B.C.’s fight to regulate bitumen through pipelines to go to Canada’s top court

BC Appeal Court judges found B.C. cannot restrict bitumen flow along Trans Mountain pipeline

New Summerland distillery has received recognition

Alchemist Distiller won audience choice award at recent competition

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Vancouver woman sexually assaulted after man follows her home; suspect at large

Police are looking for an Asian man in his 40s after the incident on Vancouver’s east side.

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parent’s cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

Rally for climate justice strikes Okanagan yet again

A handful of students were seen rallying in front of the Okanagan Science Centre

North Okanagan RCMP ready to arrest, for kids

Suspects sought for Jail & Bail Thursday, May 30

Grammatically incorrect tagging strikes Okanagan bylaw office

Anti-tag team will begin working next week to target such vandalism

Summerland reflexologist participates in record-breaking effort

Reflexology Association of Canada attempted to set new world record at Halifax convention

Most Read