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Starting Conversations: Opioid Crisis

“Stigma is at the heart of what’s keeping people from stepping forward and getting help, and practicing harm reduction. It’s pervasive. The stigma surrounding opioid and other drug use problems eclipses anything we’ve seen in terms of the stigma associated with mental illness.”

– Stephanie Knaak, Ph.D., Mental Health Commission of Canada

For the second straight month, BC is reporting the highest monthly total for deaths due to illicit substances, with a reported 175 lives lost in June. Results suggest an increase in cases with extreme fentanyl concentrations.

There are many factors that lead to use of substances, and it is important to educate ourselves and have conversations with those around us about the impacts and how to mitigate harm.

Since being commissioned by Green Thumb in 2005, CRANKED by Michael P. Northey has been performed more than 400 times for young people across Canada and the world. For the past two seasons, we have been touring CRANKED with updated content in light of the current opioid crisis. While our upcoming tour of the show has been postponed due to COVID-19, we remain committed to participating in vital conversations around issues that affect young people and our communities at large.

Here are a few resources that shed light on the ongoing opioid crisis and ways to approach conversations with young people and adults:


Let’s Talk Opioids


Opioid facts from Canadian Addiction and Mental Health


Stigma & Substance Abuse

Stigma, the opioid crisis and first responders: New MHCC research lays bare challenges and opportunities

How to Recognize and Respond to an Opioid Overdose

Overdose Resources for Schools and Parents - Fraser Health


BC Center for Disease Control Overdose Response Indicator June 2020


Green Thumb’s CRANKED Study Guide offers further definitions and resource links

An overdose may look different from one person to the next and depending on the drugs involved.  An overdose is a medical emergency. Always call 911.

2019 Production photos of Chirag Naik as Stan and Elizabeth Wellwood as DJ Drive in CRANKED

Photos by Tim Matheson

Directed by Patrick McDonald

Stage Managed by Melissa McCowell

Written by Michael P. Northey

Set by Justus Hayes

Music & Lyrics by Kyprios, Stylust, and Michael P. Northey

Posted on

July 20, 2020

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