The week of Sunday, November 19, 2023 to Saturday, November 25, 2023, is National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW), a time to pause and reflect on how substance use can impact mental health and wellness. It is also a time to consider how stigma acts as a barrier to accessing resources and further isolates people from their communities. The goal of NAAW is to raise awareness about these concerns so that collectively we can work towards improving the conditions for people who use substances, regardless of where they are on the spectrum of substance use.
Substance use has broad impacts on all of us, even if we may not recognize it directly. The current cost of harms related to substance use in Canada is approximately $49.1 billion. The largest of these costs are in the lost productivity and health care costs category, followed closely by criminal justice costs. Alcohol alone accounts for 40 per cent of the total costs ($19.67 billion) of substance use harms in Canada, with tobacco being the second largest contributor at 22 per cent ($11.15 billion).
A significant contributor to these harms is the effect stigma has on increasing isolation and preventing people from seeking help. Embracing the notion of substance use health asks us to reflect, ‘how does substance use relate to other aspects of my physical, mental, and social wellbeing?’ Thinking about substance use in this way also helps to reduce stigma by allowing for conversations about the perceived benefits or positive effects that a substance may have for an individual, despite the risks it may present.
A 2019 study indicated that 75 per cent of respondents would be reluctant or refuse to disclose substance use or mental health concerns to an employer or coworker. The same study showed that individuals are three times less likely to disclose substance use or mental health challenges than physical ailments due to the associated stigma.
This week, the Umbrella Project and the Carleton Wellness Services have partnered with several community organizations to offer events and trainings to help raise awareness of substance use health and combat the harmful impacts of stigma. We hope you will be able to attend or take some time review the resources available on the Mental Health and Wellness website and reflect on how substance use impacts you and those around you.
Events This Week:
Tuesday, November 21, 2023: C-Eng Parties Safe: Join StigmaEndsAtCU and students from Carleton’s engineering programs to talk about substance use health, harm reduction, and pick up a Naloxone kit!
Wednesday, November 22, 2023, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Nideyinan 4th floor Galleria: The Umbrella Project and Carleton Wellness are hosting the Substance Use Health Resource Fair. Engage with Carleton and community resources about substance use health, harm reduction, and gambling awareness.
Thursday, November 23, 2023, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. All People All Pathways Peer Support Student Group
Thursday, November 23, 2023, 6:30 p.m. at the Ravens Roost: Cannabis Myth Busting Event with Dr. Kim Hellemans and Zach Patterson.
Friday, November 24, 2023, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.: Virtual Naloxone Training
If you have any questions about any of these events or want more information about substance use health supports and resources, please email Dillon Brady, the Manager of Student Conduct and Harm Reduction.
Sunday, November 19, 2023 in 360, Campus Life, Mobile announcements, News, Wellness
Share: Twitter, Facebook