Grounded in our commitment to de-stigmatization.
We are a peer managed group. Our mission is to advocate fro individuals who choose to use or who have substance use disorder to use drugs safely, find affordable housing, form alliance and positive relationships within the drug using community and broader community alike.
If you are human, you have human rights.
In September 2018, CIE facilitated a peer engagement session that focused on the basics of developing a peer group and visioning of ‘success of SUSTAIN’. Anyone interested in the work of SUSTAIN and with lived / living experience with substance use was invited; 18 people participated. Feedback has been integrated into SUSTAIN’s activities and will also be offered to the CAT Peer Panel for review.
The instructions were to think about changes in behaviors, relationships, actions and activities in our sphere of control and in our sphere of influence. These are some of our responses.
If we (SUSTAIN) were really successful, we would see:
- Mutual respect
- Safer Injection site
- We wouldn’t be judged
- No shame, no blame
- We would be powerful in our language and our hopes
- Things happen
- A change in stigmatization
- Us all working together as one
- Evolved drug policy i.e. decriminalization for; purchasing, storing, consuming, and sharing of drugs
- Social inclusion of people who use drugs
- A change in attitude and more openness towards people who use substances
- Decriminalization: Not to be scared to call in emergency because of the treatment by police
- No judgment, fair job placements
- Secure housing, less shame and blame
- Self-sustaining paid positions and training for peers
- Progressively increasing numbers of peers at weekly meetings
- Changed language that reflects compassion and respect among peers and community at large
- Increased job and housing opportunities for peers
- OPS, SIS, Harm Reduction Van, mobile services
- More awareness of poverty and drug addiction being linked together
- Safe places for people to use drugs
- Housing for homeless people
- A decrease in drug related injuries, hardships, and fatalities
- A more accepting response to those who use drugs
Along the way, we would see:
- More Naloxone training
- Members becoming advocates; learning to become self advocates
- Become aware of each other’s skills
- Members getting educated
- People coming together, forming new relationships within our group and with peers outside our group
- Be there for each other, listen and hear each other, be supportive of each other
- Strengthening our strengths
- Peer involvement in everything