Indigenous advocates call for more culturally informed addictions treatment in B.C. – CBC

Feb 13, 2023

First Nations people die from illicit drug toxicity at 5 times the rate of B.C.’s general population

As of last week Avis O’Brien (N’alaga) marked 16 years in recovery from addiction.

“I was on the Downtown Eastside [of Vancouver] as an Indigenous youth,” said O’Brien, who is Haida and Kwakwaka’wakw.

“I was homeless; I was surviving my heroin addiction through sex trade work.”

What she credits for saving her life is reconnecting with her culture.

“I didn’t know physiologically or somatically what was happening when I was engaging in those practices but they felt really good and it was providing me with the kind of relief that I needed to stay on my path,” she said.

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