Former addict and advocate for Parksville’s homeless community, Kelly Morris, wants to educate the public on addiction treatment and harm-reduction measures.
Morris, who is four years sober, is holding a discussion on pathways to treatment and harm reduction at the Parksville Community Centre (PCC) in the Garry Oaks room on Tuesday, May 21 from 7-9 p.m.
Morris, who recently attended a harm reduction conference in Kelowna, will be joined by a panel of professionals who will talk about harm-reduction methods for addicts and the importance of having a 24-hour shelter in Parksville.
“A 24-hour shelter with harm reduction… people don’t understand what that means, they think needle exchange, it’s got nothing to do with needles, it has to do with methadone and suboxone,” Morris said. “We need a safe environment for these people to come in and get help… before (222) Corfield gets up and running… people are dying we don’t have time.”
Morris said she’s out every day, talking with the homeless in Parksville, and that she’s already got two individuals off the street and into treatment by putting them on a methadone program.
“Our town, I know is loving, caring and understanding because they loved me until I could love myself and they got me into treatment and when I got out they welcomed me with open arms,” Morris said. “Instead of kicking them when they’re down, reach your hand out and pick them up, give them some hope.”
Last November, Morris held a discussion on treatment options for addicts at the PCC. Close to 50 people were in attendance to hear from Morris and other recovering addicts who shared their stories of becoming sober through treatment.