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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.

This project is funded $75,000 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.

Current Schedule

Surrey (Registrants can sign up at bit.ly/StrongerTogetherSurrey)
•    Wednesday, February 13: Dialogue - Indigenous families with loved ones affected by substance use
     o    Location: Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association (A101-10095 Whalley Blvd)
     o    Time: 12:00 – 2:30pm
•    Wednesday, February 13: Dialogue – Families whose loved ones are in active addiction
     o    Location: Surrey City Centre Library (10350 University Drive, Surrey)
     o    Time: 6:00 – 8:30pm
•    Thursday, February 14: Dialogue – Families who have lost a loved one to substance use
     o    Location: Surrey City Centre Library (10350 University Drive, Surrey)
     o    Time: 6:00 – 8:30pm
•    Friday, February 15: Dialogue – Service providers working with families affected by substance use
     o    Location: Surrey City Centre Library (10350 University Drive, Surrey)
     o    Time: 12:00 – 2:30pm
•    Saturday, February 16: Info Session – Facilitating a grief & loss by substance use support group
     o    Location: TBD
     o    Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm
•    Saturday, February 16: Info Session – Facilitating a Coping Families Support Group
     o    Location: TBD
     o    Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm

Powell River – Early March 2019

Vernon – Spring 2019

Prince George & Fort St. John – Late Spring/Early Summer 2019

Nanaimo – August 2019

Vancouver Urban Support Session - TBD

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.