Healing from substance use is an individual journey for each person. Processing trauma, grief and loss can be a long and difficult task with no easy answers.
Below are some of the ways that individuals with lived experience, as well as family members and friends, have coped with and tried to heal from the impacts of substance use.
The root causes of substance use and addiction are usually unresolved trauma, grief and loss.
“Addiction is a reflection, a manifestation of where we are at within our own healing ... One heart and one mind includes people who are healing, people who are using substances." – Len Pierre, harm reduction consultant.
Land-based healing is a process to heal the heart by connecting with First Nations traditional ways and teachings as people cope with trauma, grief, and loss. Land-based healing creates connection to the land and the traditional life-skills of hunting, fishing, trapping and outdoor survival. This type of healing supports people along their healing journey by offering skills, knowledge and connection with the land through culture, language, traditional teachings and ceremonies. Land-based healing helps people of all ages learn to cope, heal and, ultimately, to live life by building on the traditional practice of passing on skills and knowledge to future generations. The experience supports healing and growth on all four dimensions of the medicine wheel and enhances emotional, physical, mental and spiritual health.
The FNHA is supporting the many people who have lost a loved one to the toxic drug crisis by creating a place to come together to remember them for all that they were and to hold them up.
The 'Honouring Our Loved Ones' website is a safe and welcoming digital space where friends and family members can share a story to honour someone they've lost using a video, photo, artwork or an audio recording. This virtual space is a safe place to remember, honour and grieve.
Sharing our stories has the potential to soothe our souls and to be an outlet for our grief, love and loss. This virtual space is here to hold up your story, your feelings, and your loved one.
Visit Honouring Our Loved Ones to read and hear the stories of others or to share your own story. Many of us have lost someone to the toxic drug crisis. We are not alone.