Nfld. & Labrador

Busy Carbonear addiction centre tries to create awareness

An addictions councillor in Carbonear believes the town would be in a "devastating state," without U-Turn.

U-Turn Drop-In Centre walks to raise awareness of addictions and the help available

More than 50 people turned up for the addictions awareness walk. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

An addictions councillor in Carbonear believes the town would be in a "devastating state," without U-Turn. 

Jeff Bourne, who runs the addictions drop-in centre, says raising awareness has been key to its success.

"People are more open to reaching out for help," says Bourne. 

"Now that I guess the stigma has dropped away a little bit, compared to what it was five years prior, when we opened."

Jeff Bourne: "We want to raise awareness because anybody out there with the disease of addiction we want to let them know that there is help in the community " (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

Bourne says the centre, which deals with "everything from alcohol to gambling, to narcotics," has recently seen a rise in need.

"In the last couple of months, for some reason we got a big increase in our meeting attendance and also in our drop-ins during the day, there's more people reaching out for help."

One of his major concerns is the recent rise in powerful opiate Fentanyl.

"It is out there... A lot of things is laced with Fentenyl. It's almost like playing Russian Roulette right."

Awareness Walk

U-Turn hosted a community walk Tuesday evening to mark National Addictions Awareness Week. 

Bourne lead about 50 supporters through the community surrounded by the bright lights of emergency vehicles.

"I guess people are going to see the three first responders and ask questions about what was going on in Carbonear [Tuesday] night," he said.

About 50 supporters of the addictions centre walked through Carbonear Tuesday night, surrounded by the bright lights of emergency vehicles. (CBC)

"Questions are going to be asked and we are going to get people who figure there is not way out, can find a way out by contacting us."

Following the walk supporters listened to a number of speakers. 

"We got the RCMP, a lady from Eastern Health that works with addictions and Mental Health, we got a pharmacist, someone from the Grace Centre, and we also got someone with lived experience."

Bourne said he was a little emotional after seeing the community back the walk to create awareness for the U-Turn Drop-in Centre. 

with files from the St. John's Morning Show