Derek is a father, brother, and hardworking outreach worker. He also survived childhood neglect and the tragic losses of friends and family members. He turned to substance use when doctors wouldn’t help with his depression.
Stigma makes it harder to break the cycle of substance use, discourages people from seeking support, and prevents us from seeing them as they truly are: a fellow human in need of compassion.
When Derek’s stigmatized for his substance use, it feels pointless to ask for help. If everyone assumes you’re a bad person or you’re just an addict, why bother?
70% of Canadians use drugs or alcohol to cope with a variety of challenges.