County’s opioid exhibit receives provincial Award of Excellence

November 29, 2019

County’s opioid exhibit receives provincial Award of Excellence

On November 28, the Family and Community Support Services Association of Alberta (FCSSAA) presented an Award of Excellence to Mayor Rod Frank, on behalf of Strathcona County’s Community Drug Strategy Committee, for Opioids Don’t Discriminate: An Interactive Experience exhibit.

“This exhibit achieved something that was seemingly impossible: we were able to build empathy while also breaking down stigma about those living in an opioid crisis,” says Mayor Rod Frank. “I’m appreciative of our partners’ expertise that enabled the telling of a very real and relatable narrative of what it’s like to be impacted by opioid use.”

Opioids Don't Discriminate: An Interactive Experience is a one-of-a-kind exhibit that profiles local opioid use statistics and community support while inviting participants to walk through the journey of three different narratives of David, Max and Natasha. These stories, based on real-life experiences of those affected by opioid use, address the pervasive stigmas and judgments about people who use drugs while strengthening empathy and understanding of substance use. This free event welcomed over 1,200 students, teachers, parents and general public to learn more about opioids, the crisis and resources available for those affected by drug use.

The award-winning exhibit was created in response to the increasing number of deaths due to opioids across the province. As a call to action, Strathcona County Family and Community Services convened a Community Drug Strategy Committee with members from 16 community partners, including Alberta Health Services, local primary care network, law enforcement and members from grassroots addiction groups and community supports.

The project was further guided by the County’s community-owned Social Framework’s outcome of connectedness and inclusion. The exhibit reinforced anti-stigma work that aims to improve and strengthen social supports.

To share this important opioid message with other communities, the exhibit’s design enabled tailoring of local statistics. Since its launch in Strathcona County, the exhibit has travelled to Red Deer, Medicine Hat and Lethbridge. Edmonton and Lloydminster have also booked the exhibit for use in 2020.

For more information about the Opioids Don’t Discriminate: An Interactive Experience, visit or call 780-464-4044.

Set in the centre of Alberta’s energy and agricultural heartland, Strathcona County is a thriving, successful and vibrant community of over 98,000 residents. Strathcona County is made up of the urban area of Sherwood Park and a large adjacent rural area of farms, acreages and smaller hamlets. It is home to 75 percent of hydrocarbon processing in Western Canada. Strathcona County is a leader in environmental conservation, and 55 percent of its land is within the UNESCO Beaver Hills Biosphere. With a focus on economic, governance, social, cultural and environmental sustainability, Strathcona County is committed to balancing the unique needs of its diverse community.

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Contact: Strathcona County Communications, 780-410-6595