Recovery Day Ottawa
I had the privilege of attending Recovery Day Ottawa at City Hall today, an annual community event organized by CAPSA Ottawa. Over 70 community partners joined together all sharing common goals; to help reduce the stigma surrounding addiction and drug abuse and raise awareness about recovery in our community.
Addiction and drug abuse is a very complex and often misunderstood issue. There is a common misconception that addiction is a choice, and that people can just stop using drugs whenever they choose to. People develop addictions for many different reasons, and it is important to know that addiction is not a choice. Throughout the pandemic the demand and need for mental health and substance use health programs, resources, supports, and services has significantly increased.
Ottawa Public Health is one of the many community partners who support Recovery Day. On September 20th OPH will be presenting, to the Ottawa Board of Health (BOH), a report on their 2019-2022 Strategic Plan: Strategic Priority Relating to Mental Health and Substance use Health. Their plan focuses on improving the mental health, substance use health, and wellness of Ottawa residents. As a member of the BOH I look forward to the engagement and discussion.
Although addiction is not a choice it is a treatable medical condition. Unfortunately, many people affected by it are faced with stigma. It is important that we as a community can make it easier for people to get support by letting them know they are not alone, and that substance use does not define who they are.