Okanagan College is changing the culture of substance use on campus by putting a spotlight on addictions.
As part of a provincial project on substance use, OC has partnered with The John Howard Society and Bill’s Place to offer a free screening of the movie The Anonymous People on Tuesday, March 29 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Vernon campus lecture theatre.
Community members are welcome to attend and coffee, tea and cookies will be provided. The Anonymous People is a feature documentary film about the over 23 million Americans living in long-term recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction. A short panel discussion will follow the screening.
“The movie itself explores the stigma attached to addictions and encourages people to bring the topic of recovery and substance use out into the open,” said Derrick Doige, OC counsellor.
“We believe this screening will give our students and the community an opportunity to further explore our relationships to substance use.”
OC is involved with a project called Changing the Culture of Substance Use on Campus – an initiative organized in partnership with the Centre for Addictions Research BC and the Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses division of the CMHA.
“At the Vernon Campus, where alcohol is rarely sold and not part of our daily campus culture, we wanted to explore with our students their perceptions of substance use amongst their colleagues and receive suggestions from them in regards to how we could promote and maintain a healthy campus culture,” said Doige.
A brief online survey was designed with the primary intention of beginning a stigma-free, reflective dialogue around substance use.
“Substance use can be a taboo topic that people often feel uncomfortable talking about,” said Doige. “We are hoping to stimulate conversation on campus through this nonjudgmental process.”