“This year, the theme of National Addictions Awareness Week is #ChangeBeginsWithMe.

“Each person has a role to play in reducing the stigma surrounding addiction and the journey to recovery. Each action, big or small, in supporting recovery has the opportunity to make a positive difference to someone suffering from addiction.

“This is especially true this year. As COVID-19 continues to have a devastating and broad impact on so many individuals and families, people are turning to different coping mechanisms, including substance use.     

“Here in Alberta, we are working to improve and maintain access to critical supports and services for people who are struggling, including the removal of financial barriers for Albertans needing to enroll in residential addiction treatment.

“Like any health-care issue, addiction treatment should be accessible to anyone who needs it and should lead to increased wellness and recovery. After all, recovery is for everyone.

“Alberta’s government is taking bold, swift action to create a new Alberta model – providing recovery-oriented addiction and mental health care that focuses on the whole person, and includes prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery.

“We know there is a lot of work to do, but we remain steadfast in our commitment to Albertans.  

“Change begins with me, with you, with all of us.

“For addiction support, information and referral to services, please call the Addiction Helpline, a 24-7, confidential, toll-free service, at 1-866-332-2322.”