Putting spotlight on alcohol, drug abuse

National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW) is now underway.

Events for the week kicked off with a family fun skate, including members of the Flin Flon Bombers.

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Other activities taking place during the week include a family games night Nov. 27 at the Flin Flon Aboriginal Friendship Centre, a drop in movie at the Denareplex and Youth Culture Night Nov. 29 and a potluck and round dance at the Eagle Rose Holistic Healing and Teaching Lounge Nov. 30.

Lannie Bosman-Leptick is the programs supervisor with the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba (AFM). She said the focus on youth throughout the week is purposeful.

“Youth is a time of significant growth and change and it is often when risky behaviours take place and substance use begins,” she said.

“These behaviours can result in negative consequences as well as have an impact on the developing adolescent brain. It is important that youth engage in healthy lifestyle choices and recognize that there are many activities within their community that do not involve alcohol and substance use.”

Bosman-Leptick added NAAW is a chance to reduce the negative language surrounding addiction issues.

“For many people, alcohol and drug use and misuse provides an escape from the mental and emotional pain or trauma they experience everyday,” she said.

“Our committee is hoping to reduce the stigma associated with substance misuse, provide education and support. We are also trying to highlight that language matters and that stigma can be a barrier to someone seeking support.”

The NAAW committee will also be presenting the Healthy Youth Role Model Award during the week.

“The presentation is always made at the local school in which the recipient attends,” Christa McIntyre, NAAW Committee member said.

“Committee members are currently meeting to determine this year’s winner. We are very excited that we had 26 excellent nominations this year.”

For more information on any of the NAAW events in the area, contact AFM at (204) 687-1770.

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