Stacy Middlemiss, well-known for her Caring with Cookies campaign, had a lot to share about addiction. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)

Opioid meeting: tearful personal stories to facts and figures

Lots of information for the public at session on opioid crisis at Lake Cowichan School

Cowichan Lake area residents probably learned more about the opioid crisis and addictions than they wanted to hear but the reaction was positive to an information night held at Lake Cowichan School April 19.

Dr. Shannon Waters, Cindy Lise, Stacy Middlemiss, Chief Georgina Livingstone of Lake Cowichan First Nation and others shared their experiences and information and answered questions, attempting to bring everyone up to speed on the escalating crisis in the whole Valley and how the entire community needs to be aware of it.

Livingstone gave some examples from her own experience, talking about friends and family who had battled addiction, many as the fallout from living in residential schools.

Middlemiss spoke movingly of her own fight with alcoholism. She’s been sober now for seven years and her story really touched the crowd, who gave her a warm round of applause. She now frequently works with the disadvantaged and those who are dealing with addictions.

Middlemiss has also become famous across the continent for her Caring with Cookies campaign.

Both she and Livingstone told the crowd that anyone struggling the dependence issues needs a loving, understanding community around them.

Waters said that the most important factors were those seen or found in every community: low cost of alcohol, high availability of substances, community laws and norms favourable to substance use, media portrayal of alcohol use, low attachment to neighbourhoods, community disorganization, low socioeconomic status, and transitions and mobility.

But there is hope, she said, if families, schools and communities get together to offer opportunities for positive social involvement, recognition for positive behaviour, bonding, marriage or committed relationships, and improvement of health beliefs and standards of behaviour.

Livingstone also talked to the crowd, speaking about her experiences with friends and family and addiction.

In her wrap up to Lake Cowichan town council about the meeting, Coun. Carolyne Austin said the turnout was impressive and so was the event, especially Middlemiss, whose sharing of her own background, and her challenge to the audience really brought home that concerns about addiction are real.

 

Stacy Middlemiss bravely shared her own experience, reaching the crowd on a personal basis. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)

Georgina Livingstone, Chief of the Lake Cowichan First Nation urged everyone to remember that a caring community is the best way to deal with addictions. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)

Just Posted

Former Capitals invited to NHL development camps

Three ex-BCHL players join Duncan product at summer training sessions

Cowichan papers are national award winners

Reporter Sarah Simpson was recognized twice for her efforts

Drought alert posted for Koksilah and Chemainus Rivers

Around the Cowichan region hot, dry weather is drying up tributary streams as well

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face Cowichan challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and even ate blueberry pie on Day 3

92-year-old Duncan man a fundraising dynamo

Duncan’s Fred Konkin does his bit to help charities

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Island man convicted of 1999 sex assault at Fraser Valley music festival

James Allen Redden, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty of three charges

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

City orders largest Kinder Morgan protest camp to leave

Residents of Camp Cloud near the Trans Mountain work site have 72 hours to leave

14-year-old pilot attempts to break Guinness World Record at B.C. airport

Mohd Shaikhsorab wants to become youngest pilot with fewest hours logged to fly solo

Price no guarantee for safety with horse riding helmets: new report

A Swedish insurance report reveals that many brands of equestrian helmets do not protect riders as well as they could.

Most Read