Winter Semester 2023
On April 1st, the FentaNIL Project ran a public speaker panel featuring three speakers, followed by three educational workshops. The speaker panel featured Ginetta Salvalaggio, Vanessa Gladue, and Roma Schroter, and each offered their unique insight into the drug poisoning crisis. Ginetta Salvalaggio, MD, MSC, CCFP (AM), a Professor with the University of Alberta Department of Family Medicine and the Co-Associate Scientific Director of the Inner City Health and Wellness Program, started the panel by sharing poignant statistics about Canada’s drug poisoning crisis and highlighted how our health system is under-resourced and unequipped at offering wrap-around support to those struggling with drug use. Vanessa Gladue, an indigenous woman who currently works with H.E.R., shared her story of drug use and spoke about how she gives back to the community. Finally, Roma Schroter, a Harm Reduction worker, concluded the panel by speaking about systemic issues in Canada and the importance and scope of harm reduction. The panel was followed by lunch and three workshops: naloxone training, fentanyl test kits, and stigma, bias, and language training. We were extremely fortunate to have such incredible speakers on the panel, and we thank everyone for attending.
Fall Semester 2022
In collaboration with Wellness Supports and the Student Recovery Committee, the FentaNIL Project brought Addictions Don’t Discriminate to the Student Union Building at the University of Alberta. Addictions Don’t Discriminate is an interactive exhibit that walks viewers through the stories of people who have been impacted by addiction. We were extremely fortunate to have one of the Storytellers, Vanessa, attend the event to be able to share her story in person. The FentaNIL Project also completed Naloxone training and distributed several Naloxone kits. To learn more about the exhibit, visit https://addictionsdontdiscriminate.com/.
Fall Semester 2021
In accordance with our commitment to raising awareness about the opioid crisis and reducing stigma around drug use, this free virtual panel event featured four volunteer speakers who shared their experiences working with marginalized communities specializing in opioid use and/or addictions medicine. We learned about why these individuals are often disproportionately affected by the opioid crisis, the specific barriers to safe drug use/access to support services for community members, and how to adapt harm reduction techniques for these unique communities. Starting off with a general overview of the opioid crisis and barriers to treatment, speaker Dr. Vidushi Mittra Melrose, a family physician at the AHS Opioid Dependency Program located downtown Edmonton, with a special interest in youth and addictions began the presentation. Followed by Jyoti Palak, a community pharmacist at Millcreek Medi-Drugs with a special focus on the 2SLGBTQ+ population, who discussed addiction, mental health, and barriers to treatment within the community. Then Dr. Pamela Kaduri, an addiction psychiatrist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto with experience working in substance use/mental health in African and Canadian communities spoke about the unique obstacles that the community faces regularly when accessing health services. Finally, Dr. Sajida Afridi, a public health preventative medicine and addiction medicine specialist with experience in Southern Alberta including Indigenous peoples such as First Nations Blood Tribe and inner-city Edmonton, concluded the virtual panel.
Winter Semester 2021
Our second virtual panel event featured presentations by:
Dr. Venu Karapareddy, an Addictions Psychiatrist; Haley Calder, President of TFP MacEwan; Patrick Black, a Streetworks nurse
The topic of this educational panel was investigating the impact of social and physical distancing on the ongoing opioid crisis. This speaker series aimed to educate the public on various aspects of the opioid crisis, including health outcomes, contributing factors, and the interaction with the global COVID-19 pandemic. We featured a variety of individuals with different perspectives, ranging from those with lived experience of opioid use to healthcare professionals and researchers. Visit the link below to watch the recorded zoom meeting posted with permission.
Our virtual panel featured presentations by:
Dr. S Monty Ghosh, an Addictions Medicine Physician; Corinne Sawarin an Addictions Counsellor, and Lawrence Woo in Pharmacy
The purpose of this educational discussion was to facilitate discussion on how the global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the ongoing opioid crisis. Thank you to all speakers who volunteered their time and knowledge, and are appreciative of everyone who participated! If you were unable to attend live, no problem. Visit the link below to watch the recorded zoom meeting posted with permission.
Rural Naloxone Training
Mason will be visiting several smaller rural towns throughout southern and central Alberta to provide free naloxone training and kits, as well as to spark discussion with rural community members regarding the overdose crisis, synthetic opioids and harm reduction strategies.
Location: Claresholm Public Library (211 49 Ave W, Claresholm, AB T0L 0T0)
Dates & Times: August 20th (10am-5pm) & August 21st (12pm-5pm)
Location: Tom Hornecker Recreation Center (2122 18 St, Nanton, AB T0L 1R0)
Dates & Times: August 22nd, 23rd, & 24th (10am-6pm)
Location: Ponoka Jubilee Library (5604 50 St, Ponoka, AB T4J 1G7)
Dates & Times: August 27th, 28th & 31st (during library hours)
Location: Redwater Public Library (4915 48 St, Redwater, AB T0A 2W0)
Dates & Times: August 29th & 30th (during library hours)
Dates & Times: TBA
Location: Morinville Leisure Centre (25126 SH642, Sturgeon County, AB T8R 2P9)
Dates & Times: September 7th (10am-3pm) during the Active Living Fair
2018/2019 Academic Year
During the 2018/2019 academic year, The FentaNIL Project trained 267 campus and community members how to identify and respond to an opioid overdose. Our group received a University of Alberta Wellness Champion Award for this feat.
Election Platform Night—Friday, March 29th
Elections for The FentaNIL Project (TFP) will be taking on Friday, March 29th at 5pm in the Orion Room in Students Union Building (SUB). Although voting will be conducted online, this ‘Election Platform Night‘ allows prospective executives to express their platform in-person in 2-4 minutes and also allows General Members the opportunity to ask prospective executives any questions they may have regarding their platforms. I highly encourage all TFP General Members to attend this event!
Interested in joining The FentaNIL Project executive team next year? Undergraduate UofA students (in any program) are allowed to run for any 2 positions on the executive team. If you’re interested in running for a position, please forward a 250-300 word election platform abstract to email@example.com by this Wednesday, March 27th @ 11:59pm. Platform abstracts will be uploaded to the TFP Facebook page and will also be sent out to all General Members via our mailing list. Anonymous online voting will be open all day on Friday, March 29th.
Heal Yo’ Feels—Thursday, February 28th, 2019
The FentaNIL Project held a collaborative event with Diversity in Engineering that explored the intersection between mental health and the opioid crisis. This event featured keynote talks by Patrick Black, a nurse with the Streetworks Overdose Prevention Team, and Cheryl Becker, a Registered Psychologist. Following the keynote talks, a Q&A panel session took place comprised of community members with lived-experiences pertinent to mental wellness, suicide, overdose, and addiction:
- Ms. Petra Schulz—founder of Moms Stop the Harm
- Ms. Elizabeth Turnbull—cofounder of Mysterious Barricades
- Dr. Monty Ghosh—addiction physician who works with The Opioid Dependency Program
To close, the event ended with free naloxone training!
Student Assembly for Campus Health—Saturday, January 19th, 2019
The FentaNIL Project will be delivering a presentation on the synthetic opioid crisis and harm reduction at the 2019 Student Assembly for Campus Health—an event organized by the Student Health Committee.
Winter Clubs Fair 2019 — Wednesday, January 16, 2019
The FentaNIL Project will be tabling at the 2019 Winter Clubs Fair on Wednesday, January 16th between 12pm-4pm in the Students Union Building (SUB). Come say hello to our executive team, learn more about the synthetic opioid crisis, and find out when we’re hosting naloxone training sessions!
St. Joseph’s College Naloxone Training — Wednesday, January 16, 2019
The FentaNIL Project will be training St. Joseph’s College staff at the University of Alberta on how to administer naloxone. A presentation on overdose prevention and harm reduction will also be delivered.
Bake Sale & Information Session — Tuesday, Nov 27, 2018
In support of National Addictions Awareness Week, we are hosting a bake sale & information session in ECHA (first floor by Starbucks) from 12-3pm on Tuesday, November 27th. Swing by to get some Christmas-themed treats, say hello to our executive team, and to learn more about our new student group!