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

Live music scene at Osborne Bay Pub a paradise for musicians, audience

Berry takes it the next level with an impressive schedule featuring many different genres

Osborne Bay Pub executive chef appeals to music patrons’ tastes

Being part of a creative enterprise suits Lavoie

‘Outside Mullingar’ follows two Irish people along the bumpy road to happiness

John Patrick Shanley’s play looks at how a couple’s relationship can reflect their love of the land

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Christopher Justice wants more long term thinking at North Cowichan council

Economic prosperity through environmental stewardship, says Justice

Lexi Bainas column: Mystery, history, music, painting, and pottery: we’ve got a basketful for you this week

From Deathtrap to JW-Jones and Sue Coleman, there are many A&E surprises out there

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

Cowichan Coffee Time: 70th anniversary, fundraising, new face

• The Cowichan Lake Golden Agers Society is gearing up for their… Continue reading

Coming up in Cowichan: Halloween Train on the tracks, Oktobeerfest

Youbou celebrating fall with Oktobeerfest at the Youbou Hall Oct. 13 in… Continue reading

NHL players say Canada’s legalization of marijuana won’t impact them

NHL players say the legalization of marijuana in Canada won’t change how they go about their business.

Most Read