Indigenous Health  
  Advance Care Planning  
  Community Care Licensing  
  Chronic Disease  
  End-of-Life Care / Hospice Palliative Care  
  Environmental Health  
  Health Alerts  
  Health Topics  
  Healthy Living & Communities  
  Home and Community Care  
  Hospital Services  
  Injury Prevention  
  Mental Health & Addictions  
  NH Connections (medical travel service)  
  Overdose Prevention  
  Pregnancy - Maternity - Babies  
  Primary Health Care  
  Public Health  
  Seniors Health  

Stop Stigma. Save Lives.

The stories shared as part of this project may trigger distressing feelings. If you need emotional support, please contact the 24-hour crisis line for northern B.C. at 1-888-562-1214.



"I thought I was going to raise a perfect family but it didn’t turn out that way. I still love them to death and try to support them."

Read more of Marlene's story


"I’m practically put together by scar tissue … To walk a mile in my shoes, you would have to learn how to duck. You wouldn’t have to learn how to fight, just roll with the punches."

Read more of Sheldon's Story


"I think if we can lessen discrimination, people will access services and there’s a better chance that people won’t have to die from overdoses. We’re losing lots of community members and it doesn’t have to happen. That’s the biggest injustice of all."

Read more of Charlene's Story


"Every time I hear the ambulance it scares the hell out of me because I’m thinking it is someone I know."

Read more of Lenora's Story

About this project

Stigma against people who use drugs results in discrimination, impacts health, and contributes to overdoses. Sharing stories of people who use drugs can reduce stigma.

The Stop Stigma. Save Lives. project shares the words of 12 people with firsthand or family experiences of drug use. Through these stories, we hope to build compassion, encourage empathy, and contribute to a community that treats all people with dignity and respect. We thank all of the participants for their courage and willingness to share their stories.

We all have a role to play to challenge stigma. We encourage you to learn from and share these stories.

Stories were recorded in July 2016.


What you can do

  • Treat every human being with dignity and respect.
  • See a person for who they are, not what drugs they use.
  • Listen while withholding judgment.
  • Avoid using labels.
  • Replace negative assumptions with evidence-based facts.
  • Use people-first language.