Recovering addicts create peer support line to help others recover

A recovering meth addict who has started a peer support line to help people struggling with addiction has gotten a vote of confidence from the mayor.

Jib Stop co-founders met with Mayor Brian Bowman this week to get his support

"We're just kind of coming together to help those that need us most," says Dane Bourget, a recovering meth addict and co-founder of the peer support phone line Jib Stop. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

A  recovering meth addict who started a peer support line to help other people struggling with addiction has gotten a vote of confidence from the mayor.

Dane Bourget, a 36-year-old father of two who was addicted to meth for 10 years, met with Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman on Tuesday to seek support for his new peer-to-peer support phone line.

Bourget started Jib Stop with his friend Robert Lidstone, who is also a recovering addict.

"We're just kind of coming together to help those that need us most," Bourget said Wednesday morning.

The support line is staffed by volunteers who have recovered from meth addiction and want to give peer-to-peer support to people trying to get into recovery but who don't exactly know where to turn or how to start, he said.

Bourget, who is celebrating four years of sobriety and completing an electrical apprenticeship program, said he and Lidstone have received a lot of support from people who want to help.

"We've had nurses, counsellors, social workers, paramedics, all sorts of people express willingness to get involved," he said.

"It's a real feel-good thing. There's obviously lots of people in need. As dark and as sad as a lot of the news stories are, it shows that people want to do what they can to help."

Making connections 

Bourget and Lidstone met Bowman to see if he could help connect them with police, firefighters, paramedics and other city staff who interact with people struggling with addiction every day.

Ideally, they would like to see if city staff could pass along information about the help line to people who might need it, he said.

"I think that'll really help us reach the people who need us the most. I could go on the news 30 times in a month, but lots of times the people who are in the middle of addiction aren't up at 7:20 in the morning listening to CBC Radio," Bourget told CBC Manitoba Information Radio host Marcy Markusa.

"It's a way to directly connect with the people who need the help."

Bowman plans to facilitate discussions between the public service and Jib Stop to help get the word out about the service, the mayor's office said in an email.

"The mayor appreciated hearing from Dane and Robert on an issue that is of great concern to Winnipeggers," the email said.

"The presence of meth has created a crisis in our community and the mayor thinks it's great to see Jib Stop making an effort toward helping those struggling with meth addiction."

With files from Janice Grant.