On Friday, July 19th, the annual International Drug User Memorial Day will take place from 10:30am-12:00pm at the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre, followed by a reception from 12:00pm-1:00pm. Sean LeBlanc, founder of DUAL, explains the significance of the event and the work that DUAL Ottawa does.
What kind of work does DUAL do within the community?
DUAL represents drug consumers where they do not have a voice-whether it be at meetings, presentations, committees, conferences, we try to have a say in all things that affect people who consume drugs.
Tell us a little bit about Drug User Memorial Day.
Int’l Drug User Memorial is a day to celebrate the lives of all those in the community whom we have lost; this will be our 10th…it is rare when we have the chance to grieve collectively, and this is a perfect time to do that. We started in 2010 with 8 people, now we regularly have over 120.
How can the Ottawa community continue to be allies of DUAL and drug consumers in the city?
A perfect way to be allies to DUAL and drug consumers is to simply treat us all with the same respect and empathy as you would anyone else. Drug consumers face a lot of stigma, and we don’t need others to perpetrate that! Also, one can attend any of the days we help to plan (OD Awareness Day, Drug User Memorial, Day of Action, etc.) or make a modest donation to DUAL for food, supplies, clothes, etc. Anything and all are welcome!
How can those who are interested get involved with DUAL?
This article was written by Shanique Foster, Admin and Program Assistant.