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Conversation about Canada’s opioid crisis involves people with lived experience

Members of the Go Give Project and DIY Community Health Timmins recently hosted a learning opportunity at the Timmins Museum to support people impacted by the opioid crisis.

The conversation began with a showing of the film, 'Love in the Time of Fentanyl.' It's about a renegade safe-injection site operated by a community fighting to save lives in a Vancouver neighbourhood ravaged by an overdose crisis.

Jason Sereda, a local advocate for social justice, said the film does a great job of showing the hard work people with lived experience are doing to respond to the overdose crisis.

"Making sure their friends and families are staying alive and it talks about some of those innovative strategies that come out of that, and come out of that you know, unique knowledge that you get from having that lived experience," said Sereda.

The screening launched a discussion led by Dr. Andrea Sereda, from London, Ontario. She is the founder of Safer Opioid Supply, which provides pharmaceutical-grade opioids to people dependent on street fentanyl.

“Events like this are important, where the entire community is welcomed. So again not just professionals, not just leaders, not just politicians -- everybody within the community,” said Sereda.

"So that’s a really good start ... certainly in London we have many advisory committees of people who use drugs are involved in the design and the implementation of our programs.”

Ryan Beardy from Winnipeg also shared some of his insight on the opioid crisis in his city. He's involved with a number of programs that help young people leave gangs and Indigenous men heal from the effects of colonization.

“I would say we need more community care," said Beardy.

"I would say it’s on all of us, on everyone listening out there, everyone that’s sitting at the dinner table, everyone that’s sitting here, we’re all in this together and for me from an Indigenous perspective, we’re all related, we’re all family. And what do you do for family? You care for them."

The event was also a fundraiser for the 'Go Give Project' to ensure individuals who are experiencing substance use disorders have access to what they need to stay safe. Top Stories

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