Parents Empowering Parents through the Opioid Crisis

“Parents Empowering Parents through the Opioid Crisis” or PEPTOC had their first presentation to Gordon Head Middle School’s PAC group.

As part of the next phase of United Way Greater Victoria (UWGV’s) Overdose Prevention Project (OPP), PEPTOC will be bringing their knowledge, passion, and often heartbreaking firsthand experiences of parenting children with severe substance use disorders to other parents in the CRD.

Erin-Rae, Chantal, and Jill presented a powerful, three part presentation outlining their own personal stories, the illicit substance risks facing children and youth, what they wished they had known before their own children were affected, signs that your own child may be using, and what we can do as parents and caregivers to support and guide children and youth through the maze of adolescence.

Chantal spoke to the stigma and fear that parents feel when they are confronted with a youth’s substance use and the importance of creating a community of support for families going through what is often a stressful, terrifying, and all-encompassing fight to keep their child alive.

Their stories are shocking and while it’s easy to imagine that your family will never be impacted by the opioid crisis, we know that this is just not the case. Parents all over the community are facing the same situation as Erin-Rae, Chantal, and Jill and education is imperative.

Erin-Rae spoke to the often hidden impact of trauma on children – be it large or small – and its ability to permanently scar and predispose a young person to high risk behavior and substance dependency. Fostering an environment of safety, security, and trauma informed support is necessary to prevent the often devastating effects of untreated emotional and/or mental duress.

The reception to these three, resilient, and highly courageous women was exceptional. After the presentation, parents came forward with their questions, concerns, and desires to support the message of PEPTOC.

At its highest level, the goal of the OPP is that through education and prevention, we can save lives. PEPTOC embodies this message with a heavy dose of reality, but ultimately, hope. Knowledge is the first step. Together we can change the future and better support our children.

If you could like to make a donation to help make addictions, mental health and social isolation #UNIGNORABLE through our Overdose Prevention Project, please give today.

If you would like to book PEPTOC for your PAC committee or school district, please email donor.relations@uwgv.ca.