All posts in “addictions”

Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing

Group Name: Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing

Description: As with everything there is a beginning, a middle and an end. The history of Grief Recovery After Substance Passing (GRASP) actually comes in the middle. The beginning, of course, was the tragically early demise in 1994 at age twenty of our youngest daughter, Jennifer Caroline. After five years of struggling to overcome addictions, her body said,”enough” with a final misdose of heroin. There are many excellent support organizations that help grieving parents, partners, siblings and children in all manner of deaths but not one to address the addictions of substances whether it is alcohol, prescriptions or illicit drugs. To many it is not realized or accepted that addictions are as much a disease as any other medical illness. A misconception is that overdose deaths are suicides. In most cases this is simply not true. With this in mind, coupled by needing to be specific, plus helping others to cope with all that grief entails, the name became – Grief Recovery After Substance Passing or GRASP.

Some may ask: “What difference does it make? Help is help. Sympathy is sympathy.” Those who know, will answer: “The difference is in the faces of other parents.” The shifting to space themselves apart physically and emotionally. The silent response…. or even….. The spoken, “My child was good and didn’t deserve to die!” Which implies that all those who succumb to drugs of varying kinds deserved to leave this earth? And family — especially parents — must be as bad (oh yes, imperfect parents) to have seen and allowed this death to happen. At the meeting one can find solace, support and empathy among friends and family of people who share the same experience. There is no fees and it is a peer to peer group.

Where: 8502 E. Chapman Avenue, #156 | Orange, CA 92869

When: Every Wednesday from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. Please contact for Toronto meeting location

Contact: Andrea Rokis 647-274-3224 | grasptoronto@gmail |

Dialectical Living – Social Groups for BPD / Emotion Dysregulation

Group Name: Dialectical Living – Social Groups for BPD / Emotion Dysregulation

Description: Recognizing the extreme need for services, Dialectical Living, in collaboration with, was formed to provide Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) skills and support to those in need. We would like to reduce the needless suffering for many by offering more options to acquire skills learning and support with trained peers. We strive to create a safe environment to learn and grow. Our mission is to enable those who struggle with emotion regulation and their families and friends a better quality of life; as Marsha Linehan says “a life worth living”. We are a group of individuals who are passionate about helping others and teaching and using DBT skills. Each of us have lived experience and have been touched by emotion regulation disorder either ourselves and/or have lived or worked with others who struggle. We are a group of peers trained in DBT and this unique combination can provide unparalleled support through shared understandings. We each have a unique background and several of us work in the healthcare field or are studying to become social workers and health service workers.

Toronto Borderliners Family and Friends
This is a social support group for family members and friends of people with BPD called Toronto Borderliners Family and Friends. This is a group and that provides a place for family and friends to share information, resources and hold events to get together. The group can be found online at

Toronto Borderliners, With Love – Acceptance and Validation
This group is a safe place for those with Emotion Dysregulation / BPD and traits at all stages of recovery. We are a community group and here for support, skills learning and fun! It is truly a therapeutically helpful experience to connect with others who are similar to you.

Contact: Julie Hayden 416-616-5284 | |

Agincourt Community Services Association – Eviction-Prevention Harm Reduction Program

Group Name: Agincourt Community Services Association – Eviction-Prevention Harm Reduction Program

Description: Today, ACSA (Agincourt Community Services Association) addresses a variety of issues including systemic poverty, hunger, housing, homelessness, unemployment, accessibility and social isolation. Over the years ACSA has been funded by all levels of government, several foundations, schools, local faith communities, and The United Way of Greater Toronto. Its strength remains in the original concept: To act as a bridge between people who need help and those who can provide it.

The Evictions-Prevention Harm Reduction Worker (EPHR worker) will provide short-term case management to clients at risk of or experiencing eviction due to substance use. The EPHR worker will be mobile and assist clients in the community with:

  • Mediation and/conflict resolution with landlords, neighbours and roommates,
  • Housing searches,
  • Tenant’s rights advocacy (e.g. Landlord & Tenant Board applications, mediation and hearings),
  • Referrals and accompaniments for mental health and addictions based appointments
    Financial management skills.

The worker will provide in-home harm reduction counseling in order to develop appropriate and effective techniques that will be relevant to the client’s lifestyle, specifically geared towards housing retention.

Where: 4155 Sheppard Avenue East, Suite 100 | Toronto, ON M1S 1T4

When: Gitanjali is in the office and out in the community on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. She checks email and telephone voice mails regularly.

Contact: Gitanjali Lena 416-321-6912 Ext. 225 | Mobile 416-684-6352 | 416-321-6912 | | |

Mood Disorders Association of Ontario – Substance Use and Mood Disorders

Group Name: Mood Disorders Association of Ontario – Substance Use and Mood Disorders

Description: The Mood Disorders Association of Ontario offers free support and recovery programs to people across Ontario living with depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder. They provide drop-in peer support groups, recovery programs, family and youth clinical support, early intervention for mood disorders and psychosis and online tools focused on wellness and recovery.

A non-judgmental drop-in peer support group for anyone living with a concurrent disorder (the combination of mood disorders and substance use/addiction issues). We welcome folks in all stages of wellness and recovery, meaning the group is open to both those who are currently using and those who are abstaining. (However, we do require sober attendance). The groups are confidential, free, and require no referral or pre-registration.

Where: 602-36 Eglinton Avenue W. | Toronto, ON M4R 1A1

When: The first and third Sunday of each month, from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Contact: 416-486-8036 | 1-866-486-6663 |

The Family Council – Support for families of People in Addictions & Mental Health

Group Name: The Family Council- Support for families of People in Addictions & Mental Health

Description: The Family Council: Empowerment for Families in Addictions and Mental Health is a not-for-profit corporation funded by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). We are a member-run organization, guided by a volunteer Board of Directors of members, who are elected by the Family Council general membership. Our vision is that families are accepted and valued partners in a responsive community and health care system that honours the experience of people with mental health and addiction issues.

The Family Resource Centre provides support and information for families facing addiction and mental health issues. It is staffed by volunteers who have experienced the impact of mental health and addiction issues within their own circle of family and friends. Based on these experiences, we offer:

  • emotional support
  • understanding
  • education and information guides
  • coping strategies, and
  • opportunities to meet with other family members.

We serve families, friends, consumers/clients, students, and the general public.

Where: 250 College St., Room G21, | Toronto, ON M5T 1R8

Contact: 416-535-8501 Ext. 36490 | |

Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services – Family Support Program

Group Name: Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services – Family Support Program

Description: Much like the rich fabric that is Canadian culture, our Polycultural family reflects the cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity of the communities we serve. We are dedicated to maintaining an open, inclusive and welcoming environment for all. Currently, we serve clients in over 40 different languages in our six locations across the GTA. Polycultural supports a holistic approach to serving the needs of our community by providing a range of programs including newcomer orientation, education, language, employment and family support services.

Polycultural understands the many challenges associated with being new to Canada, and we aim to support families through their transition while helping you balance the cultural values, traditions and beliefs that are important to your family.

Counsellors provide assistance to immigrant communities in the GTA through one-to-one and family counselling.

  • Culturally competent guidance and education.
  • Private and confidential counselling is available for each family member who would like to participate.
  • Assistance accessing community legal clinics, social assistance, income supports, Community Care Access Centres, disability benefits, pensions, shelters, housing programs and more.
  • Help accessing health services for people dealing with mental health, addictions or physical illness.
  • Help to identify and resolve personal and/or family problems such as family communication breakdown, violence, parenting, addictions, separation, disabilities, financial difficulties, or homelessness.
  • Referrals to community supports and services.

Where: 17 Four Seasons Place, Suite 102 | Toronto, ON M9B 6E6

When: There are currently three locations across Toronto offering this service. Please call for more information.

Contact: 416-533-9471 | 416-233-0055 | 416-261-4901 | |

Midaynta Community Services – Gambling and Addictions

Group Name: Midaynta Community Services – Gambling and Addictions

Description: Midaynta Community Services is a registered Canadian charity organization that provides settlement services and other programs that advances education by providing courses, seminars, meetings, counseling and other support services for refugees & immigrant in need. Midaynta Community Services is a social and settlement services agency, working to improve the quality of life of newcomers in Toronto and vicinity.

Gambling and Addictions
Midaynta has been invited to conduct a comprehensive research project on Gambling and Problem Gambling within the Toronto Somali community. This study was completed in February 2003 and its findings are now available on-line. Based on the findings of this study, we are currently working with COSTI and CAMH to provide culturally appropriate preventive, educational, intervention, and treatment programs for problem gamblers in the community. We provide services in the areas of:

  • Individual counselling
  • Group/family counselling
  • Referral to professional services
  • Prevention, education, and treatment of problem gambling

Where: 1992 Yonge Street, Suite 203 | Toronto, ON M4S 1Z8

When: Please call for more information.

Contact: 416-544-1992 | |

COSTI Immigrant Services – Problem Gambling Services

Group Name: COSTI Immigrant Services – Problem Gambling Services

Description: Meeting the needs of a diverse society since 1952, COSTI Immigrant Services is a community-based multicultural agency providing employment, educational, settlement and social services to all immigrant communities, new Canadians and individuals in need of assistance. COSTI strives to be a leader in community service by using a client focused, proactive, and innovative approach in planning, developing and delivering services. Our programs ensure that regardless of language or cultural barriers, people who arrive in Canada are able to use their existing skills, learn new ones, and participate actively in all aspects of Canadian life.

The services offered through COSTI’s Problem Gambling Service includes culturally and linguistically appropriate prevention, education, and treatment for gamblers and family members in the Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish Canadian community, as well as outreach and public education prevention activities directed towards various ethno-cultural communities. The program works collaboratively with ethno-specific agencies and the Canadian Association for Mental Health Services to deliver prevention activities in the various ethno-cultural communities. The treatment service is client centered and easy to access for the Italian Canadian community. COSTI’s Problem Gambling Service, uses a model of intervention that is culturally based and linguistically appropriate, incorporating a harm reduction approach, and motivational, cognitive, behavioural and solution focused counselling.

****There is no cost for this program. Services are available to all Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish Canadians residing in Toronto and York Region. Staff at this location speak English, Italian and Spanish.

Where: Family and Mental Health Services, Sheridan Mall, 1700 Wilson Ave., Suite 105
| Toronto, ON M3L 1B2

When: Program intake occurs Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. For services in Portuguese, contact: Ricadina Pereira Portuguese Mental Health and Addicition Services, 399 Bathurst Street | Toronto, ON M5T 2S8 | Phone: 416-603-5974, Ext. 5891

Contact: 416-658-1600 | 416-244-7714 | 1-866-222-9993 | | |

Sanctuary – Health Clinic

Group Name: Sanctuary – Health Clinic

Description: Sanctuary is a Christian charitable organization that seeks to establish and develop holistic, inclusive and healthy community. We welcome people who have, for the most part, known only rejection and abuse. Our core community includes: people who are homeless and people who run their own businesses, middle-aged, middle-class people and squeegee kids, and university students and hardened street people.

Individuals in our community face significant health issues, often resulting from their lifestyle – physical ailments caused by living on the streets or in poor-quality housing, or the side effects of substance abuse and “tough living”. Some common issues we deal with are foot care problems, wounds, infectious diseases (especially sexually transmitted diseases, skin infections and lung infections), and mental health care. Our team provides a range of care from basic stitch removal, to management of complex health care, like HIV/AIDs. Sanctuary deals with a host of other medical issues, including:

  • stabbings
  • beatings
  • nose bleeds
  • alcohol and drug addictions
  • seizures
  • pancreatitis
  • sexually transmitted diseases
  • AIDS
  • pregnancy
  • cancer
  • neurological disorders
  • depression
  • schizophrenia
  • manic depression

Where: 25 Charles Street East | Toronto, ON M4Y 1R9

Contact: 416-922-0628 Ext. 7 leave a message | |

Black Creek Community Health Centre – Bridges to Moms

Group Name: Black Creek Community Health Centre – Bridges to Moms

Description: BCCHC is a non-profit community based organization that provides health care services in a holistic manner and works with people to create safe and healthy communities. We are funded by the Central Local Health Integrated Network (Central LHIN) and the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.

Are you a pregnant or parenting mom with substance use issues? We can help. Using a harm reduction approach the program offers support for pregnant women and mothers with children 0-6 years who struggle with substance use by providing services, which include:

  • Assessment
  • Information/Referrals
  • One-on-one counseling
  • Assistance with child welfare
  • Advocacy
  • Parenting programs
  • Child development services
  • Education and consultation on issues of substance use
  • Referral to Community Opioid Treatment Program

Using a variety of approaches, our programs and services can help women and their families: Better understand the reasons for substance use and its impact on you and those around you, develop skills and strategies to support your desired lifestyle changes and goals, and receive programs and services that will support your parenting. For your confidential screening call or for more information please contact us.

Where: 2202 Jane St., Suite 5 | Toronto, ON M3M 1A4

Contact: Audrey Taylor 416-249-8000 Ext. 3237 |

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