Overdose Awareness: Protect our Youth

August 31st was International Overdose Awareness Day and today we want to focus on reaching out to our amazing Métis youth and the critical Overdose resources available to them.

COVID-19 has been a trying and challenging time on all of us, particularly for our youth who are not only navigating home-life, but also school, social-life, employment, and many other important milestones. The need to stay physically distanced from friends and extended family puts added stress on the mind and body, which can sometimes lead to negative choices or habits.  We as Métis people rely on our extended family, such as cousins, Aunts, Uncles, for support and guidance not only during the difficult times, but also through the good.

According to the Ta Saantii Deu Neso (Your Health 2, in Michif) 60% of the school-aged Métis youth who have tried marijuana have smoked in the past month, with 34% having smoked within the week. As well, 13% of school-aged Métis youth have used prescription pills without a doctor’s consent. The point of these statistics isn’t to shame anyone who is using, just to better understand what’s happening in our Communities.

Peer pressure can be a major part of your adolescent years and is not always a bad thing.   It can, however, lead to youth trying opioids in an unsafe environment, or even alone.  If you’re using and ever use alone please reach out to someone you trust, or use the below app. The LifeGuard App allows you to anonymously identify that you are about to use a drug, will set an alarm, and If you do not respond to the alarm it will dispatch Emergency Services to your location in case of an overdose.

One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself if you are using substances is to not use alone. COVID-19 makes this more difficult, but having someone call or text you with a deadline for you to respond is another way to get support.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please contact the Métis Crisis Line for support. It is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Please call 1-833-METIS-BC (1-833-638-4722)

If you would like more information on the opioid crisis, or more resources please visit our webpage https://www.mnbc.ca/mnbc-ministries/health-2/ or email health@mnbc.ca and someone will be happy to connect you with supports in your region.