You're Not Alone On Your Journey To Quit Smoking

Susan Winship | Posted 11.23.2016 | Canada Living
Susan Winship

As all smokers know, quitting is challenging and terrifying. It took 25 years of my doctor insisting I quit, before I was able to successfully stop smoking. I tried everything, including cold turkey and prescription medication; nothing worked. I knew I wanted to change my life around for the better.

Why I Choose To Be Grateful The Morning After The U.S. Election

Jean-Paul Bedard | Posted 11.09.2016 | Canada Living
Jean-Paul Bedard

Like many people around the world, I too, felt the shock waves of the election and Donald Trump being elected as the 45th President of the United States. Many of us are in disbelief that someone so brash and caustic is set to become the leader of the most powerful country on the planet. Yet, here I sit at my computer feeling grateful... Grateful that I'm an addict in recovery.

Sometimes It Takes A Friend For Men To Break Through Stigma

Leah Morrigan | Posted 10.27.2016 | Canada Living
Leah Morrigan

That men have higher rates of addiction than women do is not surprising, as men's social and emotional experience is rooted in what could be regarded as an abusive system which gives men only one emotional outlet (anger) and social expectations to uphold a masculine tradition that serves only the antiquated system that created it.

​4 Tips For Using Your Brain To Calm Pain

Beth Darnall | Posted 09.28.2016 | Canada Living
Beth Darnall

The most frequently overlooked pathway to pain relief is the patient. There are powerful cognitive behavioural skills that the everyday patient can begin putting to immediate use for personal pain relief. Calming your nervous system is the key to reduction of pain, distress, and suffering.

Opioid Crisis Should Be At The Top Of The Federal Health Agenda

Tara Gomes | Posted 09.13.2016 | Canada Politics
Tara Gomes

Hundreds of codeine tablets stolen from the medicine cabinet of an elderly person living alone in a rural community. Hydromorphone tablets being distributed at weddings and high school parties. Fentanyl patches being cut up and sold for a profit on the street. This is the reality of the opioid crisis in Canada today.

Canada Now Allows Prescription Heroin

CP | The Canadian Press | Posted 09.08.2016 | Canada

Supervised heroin therapy is used in several countries, including Switzerland.

Liberals Should Repeal Harper Law On Safe Injection Sites: Advocates

CBC | CBC News | Posted 08.25.2016 | Canada Politics

There's demand across the country for supervised injection.

Ogling For Profit In Vancouver's DTES Is Socially Irresponsible

Sarah E. Leamon | Posted 08.16.2016 | Canada British Columbia
Sarah E. Leamon

The "Socially Responsible Van" tour is, to be blunt, completely and totally irresponsible. The tour capitalizes on and monetizes the misfortune of others. It lumps all residents of the Downtown Eastside into the same dismissive, downtrodden boat of addiction, poverty and illness.

If Nothing Ever Changed, There Would Be No Butterflies

Candace Plattor | Posted 08.08.2016 | Canada Living
Candace Plattor

When I reached the bottom with my own addiction to pot and prescription drugs almost 30 years ago, I too realized that I had to change my life or I would die. I knew that I didn't really want to die, but that I couldn't go on living the way I was at that point. I had grown quite tired of being a caterpillar, though I had no idea how to become a butterfly.

Should We Pay People Not To Take Drugs?

Bill Bogart | Posted 06.22.2016 | Canada Living
Bill Bogart

The War on Drugs has been a failure, and soon enough using drugs will shift from a criminal to a public health issue. But what if we paid people not to engage in harmful consumption? If we rewarded them for stopping damaging use? Couldn't the savings in all manner of costs greatly outweigh the comparatively small expense of any incentive?

My Friend's Crack Addiction Showed Me No One Is Invincible

Warsame Abdulkadir | Posted 06.20.2016 | Canada Living
Warsame Abdulkadir

I had a good friend of mine become a drug addict. Crack specifically. I never imagined he'd be using it in a million years, but life has a funny way of showing you that anything is possible. He was a natural born hustler. He sold dope at school, at parties and pretty much wherever he could make a buck.

Limiting Opioids Alone Is Not A Sustainable Pain Care Plan

Beth Darnall | Posted 06.09.2016 | Canada Living
Beth Darnall

As a pain psychologist, I share patients' concerns about limiting opioids without providing access to alternatives. Ethical pain care should emphasize first the programs and initiatives that empower individuals to best control their own pain. When people are equipped to help themselves feel better, they need fewer doctors and treatments.

Hitting The Snooze Button On Your 'Harm Alarm'

Beth Darnall | Posted 06.02.2016 | Canada Living
Beth Darnall

Think of pain as being your "harm alarm," a signal that is designed to get your attention, to motivate you to escape whatever is causing it. After all, pain -- potential harm -- could mean injury or even death. In this way, pain serves a useful purpose because it is functions to keep you safe and alive. But what about chronic pain?

Culture's Healing Potential Offers Hope For Canada's Indigenous

Jon McGavock | Posted 06.02.2016 | Canada Impact
Jon McGavock

Epidemics of obesity, diabetes, infectious diseases and suicide that plague First Nation children across Canada are complex and multi-faceted. Yet government solutions often focus on simplistic bio-medical approaches -- when they address the crises at all -- and too often ignore the cultural strategies proposed by indigenous leaders.

What It Is Really Like Living In Toronto's Downtown Core

Jean-Paul Bedard | Posted 05.31.2016 | Canada Living
Jean-Paul Bedard

I thought living in the frenetic hustle of downtown would make me less patient and desensitized -- the truth is since moving down here, I've become more empathetic and aware of the marginalized population and my role in that marginalization.

How To Practice Self-Care When Loving An Addict

Candace Plattor | Posted 05.25.2016 | Canada British Columbia
Candace Plattor

When we give so much to those around us without first giving to ourselves, we run the risk of hurting them more than we're helping. All of us need to feel our own resilience -- it's an important human need. When we decide to give more than is healthy, we often take those feelings of resiliency away from others.

7 Tips For Successfully Tapering Off Prescription Opioids

Beth Darnall | Posted 05.20.2016 | Canada Living
Beth Darnall

If you experience withdrawal symptoms, this does not meant that you cannot get off opioids. Withdrawal symptoms mean that your opioid level was dropped too quickly and your body was surprised by the lack of medication. The key is to work with your body to successfully taper your opioids -- by making small changes slowly over time.

Understanding And Addressing The Complexities Of Addiction

Dr. Joshua Tepper | Posted 05.13.2016 | Canada Living
Dr. Joshua Tepper

In my practice, I have seen the terrible impact addiction can have on people of all backgrounds. It destroys jobs, families and personal health, often in the span of just a few months. This level of complexity and quick-moving consequence is something you don't often see in many other conditions, which makes finding solutions that much harder. Addressing addiction requires approaching treatment in a much more integrated fashion across different parts of the health care system and groups of providers.

Harm Reduction Drug Policies Are Saving Lives

Dr. Julio Montaner | Posted 04.26.2016 | Canada Living
Dr. Julio Montaner

Treatment as Prevention (TasP), pioneered by the BC-CfE and implemented in British Columbia with support of the provincial government, has shown that bringing HIV services to those in need where they are at saves lives, prevents new infections and contributes to health care sustainability.

If It Doesn't Open... It's Not Your Door

Candace Plattor | Posted 04.26.2016 | Canada British Columbia
Candace Plattor

You cannot open a door meant for someone else, it's just not possible. But you are meant to open your own doors. The best thing you can do as the loved one of someone with an addiction is to stop trying to open the addict's door, and to instead focus on your own life.

Why Nighttime Can Be The Hardest Time

Dr. Katy Kamkar | Posted 04.15.2016 | Canada Living
Dr. Katy Kamkar

For people experiencing a mental illness or addiction, nighttime can be a particularly challenging time, often bringing feelings of anxiety, sadness and stress. Nighttime is often when they feel most alone and in need of hope.

You Weren't Born To Pay Off Debt And Die

Cait Flanders | Posted 04.14.2016 | Canada Business
Cait Flanders

What you don't have to do forever is live with debt. You don't have to spend every month calculating how much you can afford to put towards debt repayment, while continuing to use credit, and staying in the never-ending cycle of borrowing money and trying to pay it back. It's not an easy cycle to get out of; I know that firsthand.

You Can't Deny Marijuana Is Dangerous For Developing Minds

Dr. Diane McIntosh | Posted 04.11.2016 | Canada Parents
Dr. Diane McIntosh

Physicians have not effectively confronted pot-related myths, nor have we adequately educated our patients. When I tell parents about marijuana's risks, they often express shock. Many believe it's like oregano... a safe "natural product" that adds a little spice to life. But pot is not benign.

Being There For Our Children After Sexual Abuse

Jean-Paul Bedard | Posted 04.01.2016 | Canada Parents
Jean-Paul Bedard

Looking back on my childhood through the eyes of wisdom and years, I think the most heart wrenching part of it all is how invisible I felt as a child and how easy it was for my mind to so subtly transform pain into shame. How does a child even begin to process such adult emotions?

Canada's Drug Policy Failed Me As A Teenage Heroin Addict

International Centre for Science in Drug Policy | Posted 03.31.2016 | Canada Impact
International Centre for Science in Drug Policy

Over the five years I spent seeking treatment, my family and I encountered a seemingly endless series of obstacles -- from programs that couldn't accommodate me, to waiting lists that lasted much longer than my desire to get clean -- all of which combined to feel like the treatment system was designed for me to fail.