In the spirit of love for ourselves and our communities, we want to share a few harm reduction reminders on keeping yourself, your friends, or your families safer during the holiday season. This time of year might be a difficult for some, joyful for others, or somewhere in between; no matter the ‘why’ behind someone’s substance use, everyone deserves to met with love and respect. Keeping these practices in mind is part of that ethic-
- Go low and slow! The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the quality of the drug supply where drugs are being cut with a variety of different substances, making them more toxic. Starting with lower doses than you might normally take, and increasing your dosage slowly, is a good way to monitor how you’re being affected.
- Carry naloxone- this medication quickly blocks and reverses the effects of opioids. This can help restore normal breathing to a person whose breath has slowed or stopped.
- Try not to use alone (this could also be a phone buddy) who can call emergency response if you become unresponsive.
- If you can, see what drug checking services might be available near you.
- Have someone to call (or be that person for someone else!) if you need to talk or be supported.
- Try to create a safety plan- for example, if you know you will be drinking make sure you have extra cash for a cab or rideshare apps on your phone ready at the beginning of the night for your ride home.
- First Nation, Métis, and Inuit values and teachings- are harm reduction. For some people, finding their own way of bringing these values to life can be another way to stay safer.
However you choose to spend the holidays, we hope that youcan have a good time while taking care of yourself or your loved ones.
KUU-US Crisis Line Society: Provides a First Nations and Indigenous specific crisis line 24/7 toll free anywhere in British Columbia. 1-800-5888717
Youth line: 250-723-2040
Adult line: 250-723-4050
Métis Crisis Line: A service of Métis Nation British Columbia, operates 24/7. 1-833-638-4722
Talk4Healing: Culturally grounded, confidential helpline for Indigenous women. You can speak with counselors who can provide culturally sensitive crisis counselling, advice, and support.
Toll free: 1-855-554-4325
Métis Nation of Ontario’s (MNO) Healing and Wellness branch: 24-hour mental health and addictions crisis line 1-877-767-7572
Non crisis lines:
- Children and Youth (ages 0 – 17):613-217-3143
- Adults (ages 18+):705-929-4753
- Toll Free Number:1-800-263-4889
Nunavut Kamatsiaqtut Help line
NWT Crisis Line: 24/7 support line to residents of the NWT. Responders can help with stress management, suicidal thoughts, depression and anxiety, grief and loss, substance use, abuse, and sexual assault. 1-800-661-0844
Not specific to provincial location:
First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line: Immediate mental health and counseling supports to all Indigenous peoples across Canada. Service is offered in Cree, Ojibway, Inuktitut, English and French.
Indian Residential School Survivors Society- Crisis support line: 1-800-721-0066
Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry Support line: 24/7 toll free
Two Spirit Resource Directory: https://outinschools.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2018/05/Two-Spirit-Resource-Directory-May-2016.pdf
Trans Lifeline: A grassroots hotline that provides trans peer support and resources. 877-330-6366