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Seeing the good

Kingston, Ontario

Amanda speaks to the stigmatization and criminalization of people who use substances in this video.

Amanda in a video interview

See Transcript

We need people to understand that this is an issue that we’ve created, by criminalizing people who use substances, by continuing to stigmatize individuals who are using. The war on drugs: we need to shift our perspective on substance use, that people who use substances are not bad people, drugs are not the problem, drugs are people’s solutions to the problem.
And really, that’s what this comes to, is people are just trying to navigate the world, numb some of that pain, and feel well. And how do we meet people where they’re at, and empower people, and reaffirm to individuals that everyone’s so important, and everyone has so much value in the world?
And I think we miss a lot of that. And I think we could do better as agencies and do better as a community if we stopped stigmatizing individuals based on labels. And we actually started empowering individuals and harnessed all of the fantastic ideas and knowledge that they bring to the table. The world would be a much better place.