International Drug Awareness Day 2018

International Drug Awareness Day 2018

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

​​According to Global News, there was a harm reduction or drug overdose symposium in Kelowna entitled International Drug Overdose Awareness Day 2018. It is the second one.

There have been overdoses in British Columbia. These reflect the national statistics of overdoses. Indeed, there has been a continual increase in the number of overdoses in British Columbia.

In only July of 2017, there were 134 drug-overdose deaths – “suspected” – to have, unfortunately, occurred. In fact, 17 were within the Interior Health Authority.

This conference amounts to a concerned parties gathering with Moms Stop the Harm, Interior Health, politicians, and service providers helping with the overall event.

One purpose of an event such as this one is the work to decrease the harms associated with drug abuse or overuse.

As stated by Dr. Silvina Mema, Interior Health Officer, “Stigma prevents people from accessing services… Stigma prevents people from asking for help. Stigma is killing people.”

The stigma creates a sense and cycle of shame around the use of substances, which can prevent those who might, otherwise, get help from actually seeking assistance. It, in fact, causes harm – the stigma of drugs and drug users.

One woman with Moms Stop the Harm, Helen Jennings, stated, “Now with the Good Samaratin (Law), you’re not afraid of calling 911, even if you’re using yourself.”

Since spring 2017, there has been the Good Samaritan Law to provide some level of immunity for the individuals who are caught with simple possession of drugs, in the case of those who call 911 with an emergency of an overdose needing treatment.

Another resource of the area is the Living Positive Resource Centre, which is in Kelowna and based on the harm reduction methodology support by the scientific evidence.

Another initiative is Living Positive to give out complimentary naloxone kits. Furthermore, there are lessons in how to properly use them.

Photo by Art by Lønfeldt on Unsplash

Scott Jacobsen

Scott Jacobsen


(Last Update: September 28, 2016)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping (lifting, mowing, and raking) and gardening (digging, planting, and weeding). He is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. UCI Ethics Center awarded him with the distinction of Francisco Ayala Scholar (2014) for mentoring, presenting, researching, and writing. If you want to contact Scott, you may inquire or comment through e-mail:

He published in American Enterprise InstituteAnnaborgiaConatus NewsEarth Skin & EdenFresh Start Recovery CentreGordon Neighbourhood HouseHuffington PostIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based JournalJolly DragonsKwantlen Polytechnic University Psychology DepartmentLa Petite MortLearning Analytics Research GroupLifespan Cognition Psychology LabLost in SamaraMarijuana Party of CanadaMomMandyNoesis: The Journal of the Mega SocietyPiece of MindProduction ModeSynapseTeenFinancialThe PeakThe UbysseyThe Voice MagazineTransformative DialoguesTreasure Box KidsTrusted Clothes.

Support. Don’t Punish: Contact Your MPP

Support. Don’t Punish: Contact Your MPP

Write your MPP to tell them why Support. Don’t Punish. is important! You can download our printable PDF or doc email templates, or copy and paste the email below. Find your MPP and help them understand the youth voice and sensible drug policy!

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Dear ______________ ,

As one of your constituents in the _________________ riding, I am writing to talk about the international Support. Don’t Punish. campaign. Although the global day of action was on June 26th, the impact of the Support. Don’t Punish. campaign effects our society every day, throughout Canada. I call on you to support better drug policies that prioritize health and human rights. We need our MP’s like you to promote drug policy reform and help change laws and policies that impede access to harm reduction interventions. This is what Support. Don’t Punish. is all about, and there’s potential to create actual change in drug policy – with your help.

Here is a brief list of issues that we feel are in need of immediate attention:

  • The continued prohibition of cannabis has an incredibly negative effect on society, and especially youth. Our government promised legalization, but we keep seeing the effects of criminalizing users.
    See CSSDP’s press release here:
  • Fentanyl, extremely potent opioid, has dramatically increased overdose deaths. Making lifesaving medication like naloxone more accessible and allowing for testing the purity level of street drugs can help end avoidable and preventable deaths.
    See the HIV Network and CDPC policy brief here:
  • Supervised consumption services are health services that provide a safe, hygienic environment where people can use pre-obtained drugs under the supervision of trained staff. Safe Injection Sites, essential to limiting the effects of problematic drug use, are extremely difficult to open because of Bill C2, the Respect for Communities Act.
    See the CDPC publication here:

Problematic drug use in our society is primarily a health issue, not a criminal justice issue. Drug policy should be focused on human rights, harm reduction and scientific evidence. Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy is working on local and national levels to draw attention to the problems with our current drug laws, and especially their impact on students and youth, like me.

If you could please respond with your opinions on drug policy in general, the effects of prohibition and your views on safe injection sites, that would be a really useful and appreciated way to start a discussion on how we can help our society move towards more sensible drug policies that help those that use drugs in problematic ways and offer sensible solutions for society that ensure education, harm reduction and support are accessible for all drug users.

Your Name Here


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