The opioid crisis in BC is a public health emergency that has an impact on all of us; whether personally or through a friend or neighbour, in the province and Canada-wide.
LifeLabs has partnered with the BCCDC Foundation for Public Health (BCCDC Foundation) to bring attention to this important issue. Leveraging LifeLabs’ extensive reach across BC, the campaign utilizes patient service centres and additional communication channels to promote a substance use anti-stigma education campaign to introduce, for example, the use of respectful, non-stigmatizing language when describing people who use substances.
Negative language discredits and discriminates, making people feel isolated and more likely to use drugs alone. When a person uses alone they are less likely to access lifesaving programs and services. Treating people who use substances with respect improves health outcomes and helps save lives.
We all have a role we can play in educating ourselves about stigma and one significant step we can take is by changing the way we speak about and treat people who use substances. Substance use is a health issue, not a moral one. To change the conversation and to focus on eliminating stigma, the BCCDC Foundation has developed a wide range of resources to provide insight into the overdose crisis.
By working together, we hope to bring attention to this important issue to improve health outcomes and help save lives.