MANITOULIN—This week is National Addictions Awareness Week with special activities being hosted in M’Chigeeng and Wiikwemkoong as part of the nation-wide initiative.
“Each year, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) joins organizations across the country in observing National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW),” explained Rob Wabegijig, addiction support worker at Noojmowin Teg Health Centre and lead planner for the M’Chigeeng event. “Led nationally by CCSA, NAAW highlights issues and solutions to help address alcohol and other drug-related harm and provides an opportunity for Canadians to learn about prevention, talk about treatment and recovery, and bring forward solutions for change.”
“Local partners Health Sciences North, M’Chigeeng Addiction Services Initiative, M’Chigeeng Health Centre, Noojmowin Teg Health Centre, and Social Navigator – Maamwi have teamed up this year to present a day for the general public to learn about local addiction services available on Manitoulin Island, Harm Reduction and its benefits to the individual and the community and from individuals who will share their story of what worked for them,” Mr. Wabegijig explained.
The event takes place on Thursday, November 16 at the M’Chigeeng Community Centre, beginning at 9 am.
At 9:20 am a presentation on the Manitoulin Drug Strategy will be hosted by Mark Forsythe. He will be outlining the research of Manitoulin Island residents aged 16 and up trying to determine what current drug problems are and what services are needed on Manitoulin. A link to the questionnaire is found here www.surveymonkey.com/r/NYQ2P2N
At 9:30 am, presentations on part one of the Addictions Services Showcase will be made by local agencies that provide addiction services. Presenters will provide information on the who, what and where of their programs. Following a short break, part two of the Addictions Services Showcase will begin.
After lunch, starting at 1 pm, there will be a presentation on overdose prevention by Rousseau Access Network with information on drug overdose and Naloxone.
At 2:15 pm there will be a presentation on ‘what is harm reduction?’ by Sam Gilchrist of the Gwekwaadziwin Treatment Centre.
There will be an Aakedehwin Truth Panel at 3 pm—a conversation on the importance of resiliency in recovery through panel discussions of individuals in recovery and Q&A from the audience.
In Wiikwemkoong, Wikwemikong Prevention Services are also hosting NAAW events throughout the week that launched with a community walk this past Sunday.
Today, Wednesday, November 15, there will be a Narcotics Anonymous meeting at 1 pm at Nandwemeekan. At 7 pm a documentary will be aired on ‘Wellbriety’ at the Rainbow Lodge.
On Thursday, November 16, a support group will be held at the medicine lodge at the health centre. Also at 7 pm, there will be an Adult Children of Alcoholics meeting at Rainbow Lodge.
On Friday, November 17 the language conference at the Wiikwemkoong High School gets underway with evening entertainment, also at the high school.
On Saturday, November 18 the language conference continues with a movie night wrapping things up at the Rainbow Lodge at 6 pm.