Not a ‘lost cause’: Report highlights need for addictions recovery

published on July 18, 2018 by Andrea Woo in The Globe & Mail

For too long, Josh McDearmid didn’t realize recovery was an option.

By his early 20s, the Cree man was firmly in the grips of a cocaine, cannabis and alcohol addiction, living in a tent city on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. He stumbled through life – using, in withdrawal, fighting, in and out of hospital – believing this is how things would always be.

“When I was out on the streets using [various] resources – going to shelters, food lineups, youth resource centres – they would see me messed up, intoxicated, every day, and not once did they mention recovery to me,” Mr. McDearmid said.

Mr. McDearmid’s thinking from those days is not uncommon. On Wednesday, the B.C. Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) issued a report on expanding and improving addiction-recovery services in the province, noting consultations with hundreds of people with lived experiences of addiction found that many wrongly believed effective treatment and recovery were simply unrealistic.

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