In Our Virtual Mishkan

On Monday, November 30, the Luke Sklar Mental Health Initiative presents: “Addiction: Let’s Talk About It”  (8:00 pm – Zoom webinar)

By Jill Witkin, V.P. of the department of Tikkun Olam

Many of us like to sit down after a long day and have a glass of wine. And now that it is legal in Canada, some people may relax with some marijuana. Using these substances in moderation may be a way to have fun, experiment or cope with stressors. But for some people, the use of substances can lead to problematic behaviour and dependence which can interfere with their life. In Canada, it is estimated that 21% of the population (about 6 million people) will meet the criteria for addiction in their lifetime.

Where is the line between casual use and substance abuse? Is addiction a choice? What happens to someone who has suffered from substance abuse and done things that are embarrassing, shameful, hurtful and even destructive? Is there recovery? Is there a way to put the pieces back together?

Long-time Holy Blossom member Bob Charendoff describes the relationship he had with a person who suffered from addiction.

Randy Eckler and I knew each other in public school, although our beginnings were not what you would call “friendly”. As time passed, I had forgotten about him, and then, by the miracle of Facebook, he reappeared on my radar about 2 years ago.  My initial thought was “Randy Eckler!  That S.O.B.?”  But after seeing several more of his comments, and some of his posts I started to wonder if this was indeed the same Randy Eckler.  This guy, I found, was a sweet, gentle, loving person, a proud Jew… in short, a true mensch. We reconnected and met for dinner, where he told me about his youth… his addiction to alcohol and marijuana. He told me how, if he would have known what gifts recovery would deliver, he’d have done it years earlier. Well… I’m proud to say this former bully, this alcoholic and addict, is now one of my dearest friends, and I love him like a brother. I can’t express how proud I am of him for what he’s done with his life, how he carries himself, how he’s earned the love and respect of everyone around him, how he mentors others who are going through what he has. He feels responsible for their recovery… and knows well that if he slips that it could cause them to fall. When I tell Randy how proud I am of him for the mountain he’s climbed, he tells me he’s only started the climb. And I tell him that I’m with him every step of the way.

On November 30, please join us to hear from Randy himself – about his story of addiction and his road to recovery. We will also hear from Dr. Leslie Buckley, Chief of the Addictions Division at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, who will help us understand addiction and options for treatment.

This informative program is open to all. The Registration link is set out below.

Register here!
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