A network of Canadian mothers and families whose loved ones have died due to substance use, or hope for recovery, envision a new approach based on reducing harm, where people who use drugs are treated with respect, compassion and support
Leslie McBain, a founding member of the family support and advocacy group Moms Stop the Harm, attended the 2017 Issues of Substance conference on addiction and substance use as a delegate, participant, and spokesperson. Just after the conference ended Leslie joined a group of stakeholders in a meeting with Canada’s minister of health to provide advocacy information and feedback about federal responses to the national addictions and overdose crises.
We speak with Leslie McBain.
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About Leslie McBain
Leslie McBain lost her only child, Jordan Miller, when he was just 25 years old in February 2014, to an accidental opioid overdose. Jordan became addicted to the pain medication Oxcycodone when it was prescribed by the family doctor after a back injury on a job site. Jordan was just starting his life, had his own business, had friends and community. His death shook their family and friends to the core.
A year after Jordan’s death Leslie joined with a group of similarly bereaved mothers to work for harm reduction changes to drug policies at all levels of government. She attends drug policy conferences, is on a B.C. provincial committee looking into the opioid drug crisis, she speaks on radio and television, and speaks to high school students on the topic of drug safety. Leslie is a founding member of Moms Stop the Harm.
Issues of Substance 2017: Addiction Matters
Issues of Substance (IOS) is Canada’s only national conference that brings together addiction workers, healthcare professionals, researchers, policy makers and knowledge brokers from across the country. The premier learning event provides an unparalleled opportunity to share new developments and best practices, and to get practical training related to prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery. IOS is also a forum for showcasing new research and knowledge mobilization efforts in the addiction field. The theme for IOS 2017, held November 13-15, 2017 in Calgary (Alberta), was “Addiction Matters.” The annual conference is hosted by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA).
The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction was created by Parliament to provide national leadership to address substance use in Canada. A trusted counsel, CCSA provides national guidance to decision makers by harnessing the power of research, curating knowledge and bringing together diverse perspectives.
CCSA Vision: a healthier Canadian society where evidence transforms approaches to substance use.
CCSA Mission: to address issues of substance use in Canada by providing national leadership and harnessing the power of evidence to generate coordinated action.
Together with its partners, CCSA is working to improve the health and safety of Canadians: “We will achieve this goal by nurturing a knowledge exchange environment where research guides policy and evidence-informed actions enhance effectiveness in the field.”