Healing from the inside, one heart at a time!


NWT Addictions Awareness Week

NWT Addictions Awareness Week

November 26 to December 2, 2018, is NWT Addictions Awareness Week!

“Since I quit, my whole life had to change and I couldn’t have done it without my friends and family”. 

People in addictions recovery need our support and understanding.

What is Recovery?

Some may see recovery from addictions as living a healthy lifestyle without alcohol and drugs. 

Others may view recovery as a process of change through which a person strives for a satisfying, hopeful, and contributing life despite the ongoing challenges caused by addictions and related illnesses.    

People recover from addictions in many different ways.  Some people attend 12 step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings or see a counsellor in their community.  Others may attend a facility-based addictions treatment program.  Still others may find healing through spending time on the land or through on the land programs, seeking support from Elders, or reconnecting with their culture.     

As each individual is unique, their recovery journeys are also personal and unique.  However, what each has in common is the need for the ongoing support from family, friends, and communities to help their ongoing, successful recovery from addictions.

Lastly, it is important to acknowledge that addiction affects not only the individual, but also their family members, friends, colleagues and community.  They may also need ongoing support to recover from the impact that a loved one’s addiction has had on their lives.

How can I help? 

Here are some ways you can help others during their recovery from addictions:

  • Learn about addictions and recovery.
  • Help reduce the stigma!
    • Stigma includes negative views that some people hold about those living with mental health and addictions issues like blaming the person for their condition or believing they are violent. Addiction is a health condition and it is not a choice or failure. Addictions affect people from all walks of life
    • Stigma can result in discrimination and create barriers for people living with, or in recovery from, mental health and addictions issues. This can include difficulty accessing needed services or finding housing or employment
    • We all deserve to be treated with respect no matter what stage of change or recovery one might be in. 
    • Reduce stigma by avoiding language that labels a person - people are much more than their illness.  For example, instead of saying “drug addict” say  “a person living with an addiction”.
  • Abstain from alcohol or drugs to support your loved one. Host an alcohol and drug-free dinner, games night or movies night. 
  • Actively listen and be there to support your loved one through whatever they are going through.  Help them come up with ideas to cope or get through stressful situations.  
  • Encourage your loved one to seek support when they need it. This could include a counsellor, an Elder, a person they trust, or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings.


Looking for more ideas? View our document for Supporting Addictions Recovery


Who can I talk to for help?

If you are struggling with addictions or recovery or you are or have been affected by a loved one’s addiction, you are not alone.   For information on addictions and the help available in the NWT, please click here:

  • Addictions
  • NWT Helpline
  • Your local Community Counselling Program can guide you through the options available to you.
  • Some NWT communities have self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and Al-Anon. For more information on AA, please visit: www.area78.org and for NA, please visit: www.na.org. Al-Anon is a fellowship of relatives and friends who have been affected by the drinking of others, who share their experiences, strength and hope in order to solve their common problems. For information on Al-Anon, please visit: www.al-anon.ab.ca.

What is happening in my community?

George's Story

CKLB 101.9 FM interviewed Donald Prince, the Executive Director of the Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation about his organization as well as George Koe of Yellowknife about his addictions recovery journey. Listen in to what they shared about the importance of support in order to be successful in recovery:

Michelle's Story

Listen to Michelle speak on the need for recovery support throughout her journey in Breaking Free From Addiction: A Story of Recovery:

Donald's Story

Listen to Donald talk about his past experience with addiction and the current opioid overdose crisis.

More Stories

For more stories, watch our NWT Addictions Awareness Week playlist


For information on National Addictions Awareness Week, please click here.