Training the addiction counsellors of tomorrow
When 526 British Columbians died of illicit drug overdoses in 2015, the Provincial Health Officer declared a public health emergency. By 2017, that number had more than doubled and continues to add to the opioid crisis being felt around the world.
While we in B.C. often hear about first responders and volunteers saving lives in tent cities and back alleys, less known, perhaps, is that the majority of overdoses (72 per cent) happen inside the home.
"Problematic substance use affects a wide range of people,” says VCC addiction counselling instructor Andrew Stone. "It is very common to see clients with homes, careers, and families seeking support."
VCC has been training professional addiction counsellors since 1980. Over the years, the curriculum has evolved with advancements in harm reduction strategies, pharmacological treatments, and client-centred recovery. “We now focus more on what our client’s version of what recovery looks like instead of us telling them,” says Andrew.