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Loss Due to Substance Use

Stronger Together: Navigating the Personal Impacts of Substance Use Family-led dialogues across British Columbia (2018-2019)

In the context of the opioid overdose crisis in Canada, too many families and communities have been personally and tragically affected. There is a very high need for enhanced family support across British Columbia (BC).

In response to the unsupported and unresolved challenges experienced by families affected by substance use, Moms Stop the Harm (MSTH), BC Bereavement Helpline (BCBH) and BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) have collaborated to organize family-led dialogue and training sessions in seven (7) key communities across BC, in partnership with regional stakeholders. http://www.bccsu.ca/stronger-together/



This project is funded by the Community Action Initiative (CAI) and Overdose Emergency Response Centre (OERC) Innovation fund and will take place between November 2018 – August 2019.

Target Population
The following community members are invited to join the dialogue and share their experiences as:
•    Families affected by substance use service providers, including bereaved families and families whose loved ones are actively using.
•    Service providers interfacing with families, i.e. counselors, coroners, clergy, funeral home staff, etc.
•    Other community members interested in supporting families.

Community Dialogue and Training Opportunities

  • Dialogue Session: Families with loved ones in active addiction
  • Dialogue Session: Families who have lost a loved one to substance use
  • Dialogue Session: Service providers supporting families coping with substance use
  • Learning Session: Grief & Loss Support Group Facilitation
  • Learning Session: Coping Families Support Group Facilitation

Upcoming Community Visits:

Campbell River – August/September. Final dates in development.

Mission - Indigenous Family Meeting - TBD

Vernon – TBD, in partnership with Interior Health

Vancouver  - TBD, in partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health and the City of Vancouver


For more information please call us at the BC Bereavement Helpline at 604-738-9950 or toll free at 1-877-779-2223.


Completed Community Visits:

Victoria - visits completed November 28 - December 1, 2018. Click here for the final report.

Surrey - visits completed March 5 - 9, 2019. Final report to be posted here.

Powell River – visits completed April 3-6, 2019. Click here for the final report.

Fort St. John – visits completed May 8-11, 2019. Final report to be posted here.

Prince George - visits completed May 13-16, 2019. Final report to be posted here.

Gone Too Soon Grief Handbook

The BC Bereavement Helpline is committed to supporting anyone in BC who is grieving the loss of a loved one due to substance use. We are currently in the process of developing new programs to support those bereaved by substance use and we hope to get funding soon.  

The BC Centre on Substance Use has developed a very helpful grief guidebook entitled Gone Too Soon.


The Helpline works to have the most updated information on grief support groups specific to substance use. If you are seeking help our support due to the loss of a loved one, please call us at 604-738-9950 or email us at contact@bcbh.ca where we may be able to provide you the most recent programs and resources.

The G.A.P. Network Grief and Addiction Support Resource List - A resource list with emphasis on social media communities, compiled by individuals who have lost loved ones to drug overdose.