Coalition of Substance Users of the North celebrating opening of new office Aug. 31

The office in West Quesnel will offer many services, including peer support and naloxone training

The Coalition of Substance Users of the North (CSUN) is celebrating the grand opening of its new office space in West Quesnel during International Overdose Awareness Day Saturday, Aug. 31 from 4-6 p.m. at Unit 3, 445 Anderson Dr., across from Aroma Foods.

At this location, CSUN is offering naloxone training and distribution; harm reduction training and distribution of harm reduction supplies; peer-to-peer support services; peer support for family and friends affected by substance use; drug checking; focus groups and general meetings; peer engagement, training and education opportunities; advocacy with health services partners; testing for HIV, Hepatitis C and sexually transmitted disease; partnerships with cross-sectoring groups; and referrals to mental health and wellness services.

CSUN also has a partnership with the Clean Team, which cleans up garbage and drug paraphernalia on the streets.

CSUN is an alliance of people who use or have used currently illicit drugs.

“Our members are dedicated to improving life for all substance users who live in the northern region of B.C. and throughout Canada,” according to CSUN’s mission statement. “CSUN supports substance users by facilitating the development of programs, services and resources for our community members and providing regional representation and community-based participation in B.C.’s and Canada’s overall response to the overdose crisis and any and all matters impacting people who use drugs.”

The CSUN office is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 4-8 p.m., and closed Tuesday and Thursday.

“CSUN is a space created by present and former drug users and our allies, for present or former users and our allies,” said CSUN founder and president Charlene Burmeister.

Burmeister sits on the board of the B.C./Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors and the board of the Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs. She works as a provincial peer co-ordinator with the First Nations Health Authority on the Compassion, Inclusion and Engagement Project. She is also a member of the Peer Engagement and Evaluation Project with the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), and she is integrating herself into her new role with the BCCDC as provincial peer co-ordinator.

“CSUN members are engaged in work on a local, provincial and national level,” said Burmeister, who has been doing this work for 10 years.

Burmeister says during CSUN’s office hours, they welcome people who use drugs and welcome respectful engagement from community members.

“We encourage people who use substances to access our services and get to know our volunteers, and the space provided for those who use substances,” she said. “CSUN is super excited to celebrate our recent success of obtaining non-sustainable funding, and we will continue to work to access funding to provide the space in the future.

“Clients who have visited our location already have clearly expressed how amazing it is for them to have a space where they feel included and accepted, and a space without judgment, stigma or discrimination.”

To learn more about the new CSUN office and the services it provides, call the office at 250-991-0091.

READ MORE: ‘My life was saved at an OPS site’

Just Posted

Single-lane alternating traffic on Highway 97 at Alexandria

A vehicle incident has closed one lane of Highway 97 Dec. 6

New Gold sponsors Quesnel ski club

The Lightning Creek Ski Club is grateful to corporate sponsors like New Gold Inc. Blackwater Project

Thank you to everyone who made Kate’s Bestie’s Wedding a huge success

Big Brothers Big Sisters Quesnel says watch for Kate’s BIG Wedding in 2020

Quesnel auto parts store hit by multiple break-ins

Store owner shares surveillance footage on social media in hopes of catching thieves

Final North Cariboo housing report highlights need for more rental supply, housing affordability

City staff will create and work through a checklist and work plan to address housing needs

VIDEO: MPs reflect on anti-feminist violence on 30th anniversary of Montreal massacre

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at Ecole polytechnique on the evening of Dec. 6, 1989

B.C. Transit scores 28 used fareboxes on eBay, saves $300,000

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Economy lost 71,200 jobs in November, unemployment rate climbs to 5.9%

Jobless rate is at its highest since August 2018, when it hit 6%

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Coachwerks Restorations come together to care for car

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

Most Read