Counselling in the Midst of an Overdose Crisis: Immediate Changes to Practice are needed to Save Lives
Prytuluk, Adam Vladimir
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The recent increase in fatal opiate overdoses in British Columbia has been declared a public health emergency by the provincial government. Across Canada, overdose numbers are also increasing significantly and the topic of opiate overdoses has begun to be discussed publically and politically. This manuscript style thesis first presents an examination of the history of opiates in Canada focusing on the effects of prohibition over the last century and its current impact. The history of colonization and its ongoing impacts on the Indigenous peoples of Canada is outlined, including the disproportionate effect the overdose epidemic has had on Indigenous communities. Current practices of psychotherapy in the realms of addiction and opiate use are then critically examined and emerging best practices are identified through a literature review. Finally, this thesis outlines immediate changes to psychotherapy practice that are aimed at reducing opiate overdose-related fatalities. A critical theoretical lens is applied to current psychotherapy practices in an effort to encourage harm reduction and life-saving practices.