An interactive, educational exhibit about opioids and the overdose crisis is coming to Red Deer College.
Opioids Don’t Discriminate: An Interactive Experience tells the story of three fictional characters — Natasha, David and Max — who are based on the real-life experiences of people affected by opioid use.
“There’s a lot of misperceptions, and folks don’t think this issue impacts them or applies to them, but it does,” said Stacey Carmichael, executive director of Turning Point, the harm-reduction agency that is presenting the display.
“It’s a community issue. It’s bigger than the clients you might see on the streets that are particularly vulnerable. It’s in our neighbourhoods. It’s in our schools. It’s in our workplaces.”
She said until the stigma is addressed, people are at risk.
“We’re doing a relatively good job looking after folks on the street. It’s the kid in the basement of his mom and dad’s house in a suburban neighbourhood I’m really worried about.”
Walking through every character’s journey takes 30 to 60 minutes. The displays are designed for middle school children and up. Younger children are welcome to attend with a responsible adult.
“If you have children and want to know how to best address substance abuse with them, this is the place to come.”
Information about the work of local agencies and government departments will also be on site at the exhibit set up in RDC’s Learning Common.
The exhibit runs May 27 and 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; May 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and May 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free.
“We’re really excited and proud to be bringing this to Red Deer. People have a lot of questions. People have a lot of viewpoints. This is where they can all get together and chat and learn and hopefully all get on the same page,” Carmichael said.
“I’m hopeful we’ll see at least a couple thousand people through.”
For more information, visit opioidsdontdiscriminate.ca.