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Small actions make big difference in battling addictions

sharon monical

Sharon Monical and Vera Crow Shoe manned the Fort Macleod Drug Coalition display Friday at the Fort Macleod and District Sports Centre. The drug coalition hosted a free family skate to mark National Additions Awareness Week. Healthy activities such as skating are part of a healthy lifestyle.

Many people have been affected by addiction, either directly or indirectly.
Every year we draw attention to National Addictions Awareness Week, a week dedicated to promoting awareness of addiction and the supports available.
We also recognize those who lead an addiction-free lifestyle, including those who have overcome addiction.
The Alberta Health Services Addiction and Mental Health theme for National Addictions Awareness Week is “Small actions make big differences.”
There are many ways you can make a difference in your home, school, or workplace.
It’s a great time to make a conscious effort to be a positive influence on someone’s day.
Think of all of the interactions you have on a daily basis and know that simple actions — greeting someone with a smile or having family meals together — can have a big impact on someone’s day and life.
During National Addictions Awareness Week, take this knowledge and accept the challenge to encourage and inspire someone every day.
Chris Windle, prevention counsellor with Alberta Health Services Addiction and Mental Health, agrees that your small steps matter.
“It doesn’t have to be a big expensive program that prevents substance use, rather, it is the small actions that anyone and everyone can take to show caring and support,” Windle said. “Create opportunities for meaningful involvement, and set high expectations to build resilience in children and youth.”
National Addictions Awareness Week is also an excellent time to rejoice with those who enjoy an addiction-free lifestyle.
Take the time to celebrate with an activity you enjoy, like bowling or skating.
If you or someone you know is experiencing problems with alcohol, tobacco, drugs or gambling, support is available through your local Alberta Health Services Addiction Services office or by calling the 24-hour help line at 1-866-332-2322.
(Megan Heroux is a health promotion facilitator at Lethbridge Community Health Services and can be reached at