The Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS) partnered with the Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre (AARC) to host a Drug Awareness Presentation on October 4, 2016 in Medicine Hat.
AARC’s Director of Community Education and Research, Dr. Jackie Smith and AARC Peer Counsellor, Karl J. (Graduate No. 522) spoke at the presentation to a group of 100 concerned parents and community members.
The following day, our team visited 3 high schools in the community and presented to over 500 students. AARC Executive Peer Counsellor, Pam Smith, was also in attendance to provide brief counselling to several students who came forward with personal stories of drug use, following the presentations. It was a significant opportunity to be able to provide early intervention to those in need of help with their drug abuse.
Karl shared his own story of crystal meth addiction and recovery and spoke about the risks associated with drug abuse, “I know that my story won’t necessarily stop you from using, but I want you to be aware of the risks.” Addiction is a mental health disorder in which the user has an uncontrollable compulsion to use, but recovery is possible.
Dr. Smith presented educational material on addiction, the development of the teen brain, and the vulnerabilities and risk factors associated with problematic drug and alcohol use.
Medicine Hat News published an article covering one of the presentations to students which can be found here.