Addiction doesn’t discriminate, it affects all walks of life.

National Addictions Awareness Week runs until this Friday.  The annual initiative is in place to bring awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding substance abuse.

“Addiction doesn’t know any borders,  it doesn’t matter who you are, where you live, what you do, it crosses and impacts all walks of life,” says Kim Laurie, Area Manager for Parry Sound Canadian Mental Health Association.

“As addictions services providers, we become more aware of components of communities: It doesn’t pick particular people, it impacts everyone. The way to prevent addiction is by creating awareness,” Laurie added.

Laurie says people affected by addiction may not be just the person suffering, but everyone around them: family, friends, employers, workplaces, it’s such a far-reaching illness and often people forget that.

Families in the Parry Sound area that require support or have a loved one with an addiction can get help from a number of services. CMHA offers to support those who are active or in recovery. There is a 12-step support group and information can be found on their website here. 

CMHA offers a national initiative called Big White Wall.  Big White Wall is an online councilling option for safe, monitored and highly confidential service. Anyone in Canada can use this and a link can be found here.

Bounce Back is a program available for people who live with mental illnesses and addictions. The service is available for anyone over 15-years-old who suffers from depression or anxiety. A link to that service can be found here.