Addictions Don’t Discriminate is an in-person interactive exhibit in Edmonton, Alberta, that takes participants on the journeys of real people whose lives have been impacted by addiction.
The exhibit is designed to inspire understanding, empathy and action.
No one is destined from birth to develop an addiction. So why will approximately 6 million Canadians find themselves experiencing addiction at some point in their lives, while others can use substances without their use becoming problematic?
Addiction is often seen as a moral failing or character flaw, but research shows that like many chronic illnesses, there is a combination of genetic, developmental, social, and environmental factors that influence a person’s lived experience and their likelihood of developing an addiction.
Through the power of storytelling, this exhibit offers a glimpse into the complex world of addiction, uncovering the human experience that lies beneath the statistics and stigma. Six unique stories, showcased in connection to one another, push us to look beyond someone’s substance use and into the lived experience of each individual with empathy and compassion, to help us understand that Addictions Don’t Discriminate.
Nicole is a loving, caring mother of six. At a young age Nicole began using substances to cope with the effects of intergenerational trauma passed through her family. Today she is a hopeful woman who is motivated by her connection to others, to faith, and to the Creator.
Following the launch of the exhibit in November 2021, we will be offering the opportunity for organizations and community groups around Edmonton to apply to host the exhibit in their neighborhood. We designed the exhibit to be mobile for this reason. Please fill out our Hosting Request to apply.
A calendar with information about where the exhibit is traveling to is available on our website here.
The organizations that host the exhibit will be required to follow all public health guidelines in place at the time, as well as any guidelines put in place by the venue.
Stigma is one of the main reasons people avoid treatment and support. Together with our partners, we are working to break the stigma by providing information about addiction, addressing the judgments about people who use drugs, and providing a safe and supportive environment for people to seek help, all through sharing real stories of lived experience.
The exhibit shares six stories of lived experience along with information on contributing factors. If you would like to take in each story, you can expect the experience to take at least 60 minutes.
Many of the stories shared in the exhibit include experiences of trauma including incidents of childhood sexual abuse, overdose, and suicide. This information may be upsetting for some. Although the stories share many difficult experiences, they also share messages of hope, strength, and resilience.
If you are affected by the content, please talk to one of the volunteers present or contact the Mental Health Helpline at 1-877-303-2642
Talk to one of the volunteers on staff to debrief your experience or contact the mental health helpline at 1-877-303-2642.
Following the launch of the event we will be offering the opportunity for organizations and community groups around Edmonton to apply to host the exhibit in their neighbourhood. We designed the exhibit to be mobile for this reason.
Please fill out our Hosting Request to apply.
(toll free within Alberta)
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