A Mission organization has been offering a 10-week lecture series to help adults suffering from substance use issues for more than two decades, and the talks continue to draw attendees.
Fraser House Society is an outpatient clinic located on Fourth Avenue, and the weekly talks, coordinated by adult counsellor Tina Brazeau, began in 1987.
The lectures are open to the public, run Thursday nights from 6:30 to 8 p.m., and include topics such as what is addiction, neurochemistry of relapse, cross addiction and oxycontin and other prescription drugs.
“The lecture series helps people to understand addiction and offers tools to guide people toward recovery,” said executive director Cynthia Coyle. Additionally, the education provided helps addicts see what recovery looks like, and works to diminish the shame, guilt and stigma attached to substance use.
“In the initial stages it is not always as important to focus on the why of addiction as to how to get through it,” she said.
Coyle said many people who have problems with addiction have had some type of trauma in their lives and may also struggle with mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety.
Family members are also invited to the lectures, because once those helping someone struggle with addiction understand its challenges, they become a better support. Family members also need support for their own feelings which include, hurt, loss of hope and frustration, said Coyle.
But despite the education available, many addicts are still marginalized.
“People find [addiction] difficult to understand because they feel it’s a choice [addicts] are making,” Coyle noted.
The lectures are drop-in based, and people can come to whichever ones they wish. For more information call 604-826-6810 between 8:30 a.m. and noon, and 1 and 4:30 p.m, or visit www.fraserhouse.org.
Fraser House Society
Fraser House Society offers counselling and prevention services for anyone with substance use issues, and operates on a not-for-fee contract with Fraser Health Authority.
The non-profit charitable organization is run by a board of directors, many of whom have served for several years.
In addition to outpatient services for youths and adults, Fraser House runs a rural connection program for the Deroche/Lake Errock area out of the Fraser Valley Regional District building on Lougheed Highway by Deroche community hall. There is one counsellor dedicated to that area for two days a week, and will also visit some clients in their homes.
The school-based prevention program is also popular. One Fraser House counsellor splits their time between the elementary and high schools, speaking to Grades 4-6 and 7-8 about drugs and alcohol.
A youth day treatment program offers teens with substance misuse problems one-on-one and group therapy sessions and is for students who normally would have been suspended from school.
For information on programs, visit www.fraserhouse.org or call 604-826-6810.