Written by Dr. Aamir Bharmal, Medical Health Officer, Population and Public Health

We have launched a new guide to help people have a conversation that could save a life.

We have launched a new guide to help people have a conversation that could save a life. When Words Matter is a thorough, four-page guide to talking to someone you care about when you think they may be struggling with substance use. The initiative is part of a new communications campaign which also includes a video and advertisements informed by focus groups.

When Words Matter gives a detailed account of how to:

  • Prepare for a conversation
  • Begin the conversation
  • Keep calm and focused 
  • Recover when a conversation doesn’t go well
  • Care for yourself as someone who is impacted by another’s substance use.

We consulted extensively with more than 50 people, focusing on men who were in treatment, daytox or had completed treatment, as well as their support networks to inform the communications campaign. The campaign titled Overdose is closer than you think will be displayed until mid-December in bus shelters, restaurants and bars, and on Fraser Health’s social media channels. We are also launching a short video that depicts people having conversations about substance use as well as tips.The posters, video, and guide are posted on fraserhealth.ca/overdose.

Starting a conversation about substance use is never easy, but approaching a person you care about to have a conversation could help save their life. It may take time, but by checking in on a person you believe is using substances, and being open to talking about substance use in an empathetic way, you can help reduce their isolation and provide a more supportive environment for their recovery.

Read the full news release.

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