Resources for Adults

Substance Use Overview

Substance use is part of the human condition; people have used tobacco, alcohol, cannabis and other drugs for various “human reasons”, in various countries for thousands of years. Like all things involving humans, substance use is complex and not just “good” or “bad”) and has the potential to both help and harm. What’s more, the effects of using substances are not uniform but unique to each individual.

Drugs and their categories

A drug is any substance that causes a change in how people feel mentally, emotionally or physically. Mood and other brain processes such as perception, attention, learning, memory, concentration and abstract thought can be impacted.

Drug and their effects depend on many factors, including dose, types of drugs used and their interaction, how the drug is taken and the body’s response to drugs that develop over time (tolerance, dependence, etc).

Drugs include both legal drugs (such as alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs such as anti-depressants and painkillers) and illegal drugs such as cocaine, speed and LSD. When discussing drugs it can be helpful to categorize drugs according to the effect they have on one’s mind and body.

Hallucinogens

Hallucinogens are drugs that distort perceptions, mental processes and emotions. Hallucinogens can act as either or both dissociatives or psychedelics. Examples include magic mushrooms, LSD/acid, peyote, PCP, Ketamine, GHB

Find more information from BC Here to Help:

Hallucinogens information

Stimulants

Stimulants are drugs that produce a quick temporary increase of energy by speeding up the central nervous system. Breathing, heart rate and creating an alerted state.

Stimulant drugs include, tobacco, caffeine, cocaine/crack, amphetamines and drugs to treat ADHD.

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Cocaine information

Methamphetamine information

Opioids

Opioids are a group of drugs that resemble morphine and its effects. These include opiates which are derived from the poppy plant. Opioids are among the world's oldest known drugs with its beginnings in the therapeutic use of opium. Opioids act as painkillers with effects such as decreased perception of pain, decreased reaction to pain as well as increased pain tolerance. The side effects of opioids include sedation, constipation, slowing of respiration and a strong sense of euphoria.Examples include, morphine, codeine, opium, heroin, methadone, Demerol and Percodan.

Find more information from BC Here to Help:

Heroin information

Depressives

Depressives are substances that slow down how our central nervous system operates. They slow down our heart rate and breathing and bring a more relaxed and calm feeling. Because our central nervous system is slowed, in small amounts, alcohol can slow our inhabitations as well as make us feel more sociable and talkative. In larger quantities our balance, vision, coordination and ability to make important decisions also become confused.

Depressive drugs include alcohol, solvents/inhalants, benzodiazepines, barbiturate, antihistamines and general anesthetics.

Find more information from BC Here to Help:

Alcohol information

Inhalants information

Cannabis

Cannabis originates from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Its psychoactive ingredient is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and can be consumed as marijuana, hash or hash oil.  The effects of cannabis can include relaxation, heightened mood, mild euphoria, while side-effects include a decrease in short term memory, coordination and concentration, dry mouth, increased appetite, lowered blood pressure. 

Find more information from BC Here to Help:

Cannabis information

Cannabis and psychosis information

Low-drinking guidelines

Canada`s low-risk alcohol drinking guidelines (LRDG) help Canadians moderate their alcohol consumption and reduce their immediate and long-term alcohol-related harm. The guidelines recommend no more than two-drinks a day, 10 per week for women, and three drinks a day, 15 per week for men, with an extra drink allowed on special occasions. 

Low-drinking guidelines


Mindfulness

Being mindful means we focus on certain aspects of our current experience to the exclusion of others. It is the act of heeding or taking notice or concentrating.

The goal of mindfulness practice is to cultivate a stable, non-reactive awareness of one’s internal emotions, thoughts, sensations) and external (social, environmental) experiences.

Maureen Smith earned her master of social work degree from the University of British Columbia, Okanagan.  She completed her practicum in clinical social work at East Kootenay Addiction Services Society in Cranbrook, BC.  Maureen sees health from a “whole person” perspective, which involves the body, mind and social environment.  She can help address the broad range of health and addiction issues and is particularly interested in mindfulness-based interventions, working with adults and youth with maladaptive substance and behavioural patterns.  She is passionate about helping people manage stress, develop resilience and move towards positive health and behaviours.

Resource List



 


Recent Posts

  • Y Mind
  • Y Mind

    Posted on: 20-Oct-2020

    Posted by Theresa Bartraw | on 20-Oct-2020 Y Mind

    CMHA Kootenays and East Kootenay Addiction Services Society are proud to partner with the YWCA of Greater Vancouver to deliver this 7 week group for teens aged 13-18.  Y-Mind Teens is a program for teens who experience stress, worry, and/or mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety. The curriculum offers tools and strategies from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as well as mindfulness. The group will take a strength based approach and assumes that participants have been trying their best to cope with symptoms of stress, worry and mild-moderate anxiety. The tools and strategies provided in this curriculum offer new approaches to coping. Participants will be encouraged to approach these new tools with an open mind, and a willingness to try them; but, ultimately each participant will decide for themselves. The motto is- “take what works for you and leave what doesn’t”.

    This program is offered at no cost, and will provide participants with 7 sessions over 7 weeks. Please note that this is a closed program, and requires participants to be committed to attending these 7 weeks.  The sessions will run for about 1.5 hours, and dinner will be provided at each session.

    The orientation session will be Wednesday, October 21st at 5:00-6:30pm, and the sessions will begin on Wednesday, October 28th from 5-6:30. The location of the sessions will be at CMHA-Kootenays main office 300-1000 21St Avenue North.  Due to COVID-19 protocols, we will only be taking 6 participants at this time.  If you have anyone who may be interested please encourage them to attend the orientation session, so we can meet with the teen, and gather more information with them.

    Who would be an ideal fit for these sessions?

    1)      Teens aged 13-18 years of age

    2)      They express that anxiety is a primary concern and that their anxiety is within a mild to moderate range

    3)      Their schedule will allow for punctual attendance of all 7 group sessions

    4)      They are comfortable or open to work within a group environment

    5)      They are at a cognitive learning comprehension level to be able to interpret metaphors, conceptualize and discuss concepts, and apply them to situational experiences

    6)      They value open mindedness and respect for others’ opinions and experiences and are willing to help foster a safe space for group members to share and receive support



    Y Minds Y Minds (293 KB)

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  • East Kootenay Addiction Services is looking for new Board of Directors!

    Posted on: 19-Oct-2020

    Posted by Theresa Bartraw | on 19-Oct-2020 East Kootenay Addiction Services is looking for new Board of Directors!

    Are you looking to add some meaning and purpose to your life? 

    Do you have empathy and a passion for people who struggle with substance use? 
    Do you want to be a part of a team and organization that is a leader in the field? 

    We are seeking dynamic, passionate people residing within the East Kootenay region that want to make a difference in their community. Diversity within our Board is important to us as our agency is stronger with all perspectives represented. 

    East Kootenay Addiction Services Society has provided free and confidential counselling services since 1978 in the East Kootenay Region. EKASS supports youth, adults, couples and families dealing with difficulties from their own or someone else’s substance use. In addition, we provide referral to approved residential treatment and detox facilities; school based educational programs, community education, outreach, harm reduction programs and our youth Teen Empowerment and Mastery Program (TEAM). 

    Some responsibilities of the Board of Directors include: 
    • Meet (Currently via ZOOM during COVID) approx. 1 hour for each meeting, generally 5 times a year excluding summertime
    • The board shall govern rather than manage the operations of East Kootenay Addiction Services Society (no fundraising required)
    • Provide stewardship and support the Executive Director 
    • Support recruitment of new board members
    • Sharing your passion and providing input regarding Substance Use in our community and region 
    Expressions of interest can be sent by November 12th, 2020 to: Gary Dalton, EKASS Board Chair at [email protected]

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  • EKASS is Hiring!
  • EKASS is Hiring!

    Posted on: 02-Sep-2020

    Posted by Theresa Bartraw | on 02-Sep-2020 EKASS is Hiring!

    EAST KOOTENAY ADDICTIONS SERVICES SOCIETY

    Youth Substance Use Counsellor - Invermere, BC

    Closing Date: September 15, 2020 

    East Kootenay Addiction Services Society is hiring a permanent part-time 0.8 FTE Youth Substance Use Counsellor for our Invermere location.

    Job Summary:

    Working from a Harm Reduction perspective and a Bio-psycho-social-spiritual model, the Youth Substance Use Counsellor provides screening, assessment, treatment planning and individual, group and family counselling to youth and their families affected by their own or someone else’s substance misuse. In addition, the Counsellor participates in the planning, development and delivery of treatment, education and prevention programs to youth, families, schools and other community groups in the Invermere area; and provides outreach services to youth in non-traditional settings.

    Qualifications:

    • Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in an appropriate discipline suitable for substance use work such as Social Work, Counselling Psychology, and minimum of three-years relevant substance use experience.
    • Experience and training working with individuals, groups and families
    • Experience and training working with youth with concurrent disorder issues
    • Working knowledge of the mental health and substance use system of care, including a comprehensive understanding of current approaches to substance abuse and mental health treatment.


    Skills and Abilities:

    • Be flexible and use analytical and critical thinking to respond to changing work conditions
    • Provide therapeutic counselling services to individuals, groups and families
    • Communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, and maintain accurate and timely reports
    • Establish and maintain relationships based on trust and respect, and maintain healthy interpersonal boundaries with work colleagues, community partners and clients
    • Develop and implement public education and prevention activities for various community groups with a Harm Reduction focus
    • Work with an inter-disciplinary team approach
    • Demonstrate adherence to professional ethical values
    • Maintain valid driver’s license.  Must have own vehicle
    • Hold a Valid first aid/CPR certification
    • Provide a current Criminal Record Clearance

    Salary: Commensurate with Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association and HEABC, Disciplines Allied to Social Work I, Grid Level 8

    Submit cover letter and resume to:

    Dean Nicholson, Executive Director

    East Kootenay Addiction Services Society

    202, 1617 Baker Street

    Cranbrook, BC, V1C 1B4

    Fax:  250-489-1020

    Email:  [email protected]

    Only those selected for interview will be contacted.

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Upcoming Events

  • International Overdose Awareness Day 2020

    Event Date: 31-Aug-2020

    Posted by Theresa Bartraw | on 18-Aug-2020 International Overdose Awareness Day 2020

    International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held on August 31st each year. The day aims raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of drug-related death. It also acknowledge the grief felt by families and friend remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose. 

    To help reduce the risk of overdose:

    • Buddy up when you are using, stay 2 meters (6 ft) from your buddy to remain physically distanced, but remember using with a buddy is safer than using alone!
    • Remember, smoking substances can still lead to overdose, take measures to prevent overdose.      
    • Avoid using different drugs at the same time or using drugs and alcohol together. 
    • Don’t use alone. Leave door unlocked. Tell someone to check on you.
    • If you feel you must use while alone, consider using the Lifeguard app www.lifeguardDH.com which can connect you with emergency medical dispatchers in the event of an overdose. Download at the App Store or Google Play.  
    • Test by using a small amount, then go slow.
    • Carry a Naloxone kit and know how to use it. Naloxone is available at:
      • ANKORS, EKASS, IH Public Health & Mental Health Substance Use Locations
      • Pharmacies located throughout Cranbrook
      • Recognize the signs of an OD: slow or no breathing, gurgling or gasping, lips/fingertips turning blue, difficult to rouse (awaken), non-responsive.
      • Call 9-1-1 immediately It is still safe (and important) to use emergency services during the COVID -19 pandemic
      • Open airway and give rescue breaths using face mask
      • Give naloxone (Narcan) if you have it
    • Check your drugs. Fentanyl test strips are available at:
    ANKORS #209 – 16th Ave North Cranbrook  250-426-3383
    EKASS – 250-489-4344

    www.drugchecking.ca

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  • Y Mind
    Event Date: 20-Oct-2020
  • Y Mind

    Event Date: 20-Oct-2020

    Posted by Theresa Bartraw | on 20-Oct-2020 Y Mind

    CMHA Kootenays and East Kootenay Addiction Services Society are proud to partner with the YWCA of Greater Vancouver to deliver this 7 week group for teens aged 13-18.  Y-Mind Teens is a program for teens who experience stress, worry, and/or mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety. The curriculum offers tools and strategies from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as well as mindfulness. The group will take a strength based approach and assumes that participants have been trying their best to cope with symptoms of stress, worry and mild-moderate anxiety. The tools and strategies provided in this curriculum offer new approaches to coping. Participants will be encouraged to approach these new tools with an open mind, and a willingness to try them; but, ultimately each participant will decide for themselves. The motto is- “take what works for you and leave what doesn’t”.

    This program is offered at no cost, and will provide participants with 7 sessions over 7 weeks. Please note that this is a closed program, and requires participants to be committed to attending these 7 weeks.  The sessions will run for about 1.5 hours, and dinner will be provided at each session.

    The orientation session will be Wednesday, October 21st at 5:00-6:30pm, and the sessions will begin on Wednesday, October 28th from 5-6:30. The location of the sessions will be at CMHA-Kootenays main office 300-1000 21St Avenue North.  Due to COVID-19 protocols, we will only be taking 6 participants at this time.  If you have anyone who may be interested please encourage them to attend the orientation session, so we can meet with the teen, and gather more information with them.

    Who would be an ideal fit for these sessions?

    1)      Teens aged 13-18 years of age

    2)      They express that anxiety is a primary concern and that their anxiety is within a mild to moderate range

    3)      Their schedule will allow for punctual attendance of all 7 group sessions

    4)      They are comfortable or open to work within a group environment

    5)      They are at a cognitive learning comprehension level to be able to interpret metaphors, conceptualize and discuss concepts, and apply them to situational experiences

    6)      They value open mindedness and respect for others’ opinions and experiences and are willing to help foster a safe space for group members to share and receive support

    Y Minds Y Minds (293 KB)

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  • New additions to the COVID-19 resource section

    Event Date: 31-Mar-2020

    Posted by Theresa Bartraw | on 31-Mar-2020 New additions to the COVID-19 resource section

    East Kootenay Addictions Services is building and adding to the COVID-19 Response Resources section of the website. Follow the link here COVID-19 Resources for more information

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