Opioids exhibit relaunching April 30 – May 3

April 8, 2019

Opioids exhibit relaunching April 30 – May 3

Due to high community interest, the Opioids Don’t Discriminate: An Interactive Experience will be relaunched to the public on April 30, running until May 3, 2019 in the Community Centre’s Agora (401 Festival Lane, Sherwood Park).

As the only one of its kind, the free Opioids Don’t Discriminate: An Interactive Experience profiles local statistics, opioid information and local supports, while immersing participants in an interactive journey through three fictionalized character stories of Natasha, David and Max. 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 about substance use.

Through an interactive experience, participants learn about the science of addiction, the impact of opioids and how the crisis is affecting people locally, provincially and nationally.

This eye-opening educational experience is for everyone. While the exhibit is designed for youth in junior high and older, younger children are welcome to attend with a responsible adult.

School, organization and group bookings can be arranged by contacting Strathcona County Family and Community Services at 780-464-4044. 

Last November, approximately 400 people attended the exhibit over two days (November 5 and 6), before the Community Centre’s unexpected closure. The exhibit’s relaunch will build upon the early successes of the November exhibit, where surveyed participants indicated a significant increase (from 41 per cent to 70 per cent) in familiarity of the topic of opioid addiction after going through the exhibit.

One in four survey respondents who attended the November exhibit indicated they knew someone who was using prescription opioids. The majority of survey respondents reported feeling more compassion towards people struggling with an opioid addiction and knowing more about opioid addiction since attending the event.

Opioids are medication used mainly to treat pain. Opioids can be prescribed as pills, syrups, nasal sprays, skin patches, suppositories and liquid injections. 

Opioids, like fentanyl and carfentanil, are becoming easy to manufacture and are finding their way into the illegal drug market, where a single exposure can be fatal due to uneven blending. Fentanyl is being added into heroin, cocaine and ketamine, which allows illegal drug suppliers to cut costs, increase potency and improve their profits. It is also mixed with other substances to produce counterfeit OxyContin and Xanax.

Under Strathcona County’s Social Framework’s goal of creating a supported, safe and connected community for all, community leaders from government and non-profit agencies joined together to form a local Community Drug Strategy Committee. One priority of the committee’s work is taking action on the opioid crisis.

Moving forward, the Community Drug Strategy Committee will continue to work towards the overall prevention, treatment, harm-reduction, community inclusion and safety initiatives that lead to overall health and well-being for everyone.

The Community Drug Strategy Committee is a local partnership made up of representatives from Alberta Children’s Services, Alberta Health Services, Chimo Youth Retreat Centre, Elk Island Catholic Schools, Elk Island Public Schools, Hope in Strathcona, Annie McKitrick, Moms Stop the Harm, Parents Empowering Parents, RCMP, RCMP Victim Services, Saffron Centre, Salvation Army, Sherwood Park Primary Care Network, Strathcona County and Strathcona County Library.

For more information about the exhibit, or to learn more about opioids, visit strathcona.ca/opioids 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 per cent of refining in Western Canada. Strathcona County is a leader in environmental conservation, and 55 per cent 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