Kelowna moms joins North American social media campaign to end war on drugs | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna moms joins North American social media campaign to end war on drugs

Helen Jennens is a member of Moms Stop the Harm, a Canadian organization that fights the stigma of addiction and promotes humane drug policies.
Image Credit: Facebook
May 11, 2018 - 3:30 PM

Addiction knows no borders, so a group of local mothers who have lost children to overdose are joining forces with groups in Mexico and the U.S. for a continent-wide campaign advocating humane global drug policies.

Moms Stop the Harm is a Canadian organization that started around the time B.C. declared a provincial state of emergency over the alarming numbers of overdose deaths. One of their spokespeople is Kelowna mom Helen Jennens who lost both her sons to overdose.

According to a media release, Moms Stop the Harm is combining with Moms United to End the War on Drugs from the U.S. and Red de Enlaces Nacionales from Mexico this Mother’s Day weekend to promote a new social campaign.

The #listentomom campaign started May 6 and runs until Sunday, May 13. The three groups have put together a common message they hope helps end the stigma of addiction worldwide.

“Mothers are losing children to mass incarceration, drug war violence and accidental overdose across borders, due to the failed global war on drugs,” the release says. “We are urging people to listen to our stories and to understand the need for a compassionate and tolerant approach to drug use and substance use disorders.”

The moms propose eight actions they say will save lives.

The #listentomom campaign includes eight posters advocating for changes organizers would like to see made to drug policies around the world.
The #listentomom campaign includes eight posters advocating for changes organizers would like to see made to drug policies around the world.
Image Credit: Submitted

They want the complete decriminalization of all drugs, improved training for health care providers, better response to the overdose crisis by all levels of government and implementation of drug policy reform. They also want more education for the public, more support for mothers from all countries who have been affected by the war on drugs, particularly those moms of the disappeared in Mexico and Indigenous women, a rejection of ‘tough love’ in favour of a more compassionate response as well as grief and trauma support for those left behind. 

“We are again reclaiming our basic mother’s right to nurture and protect our children,” the release says.

The campaign will include social media posters representing the eight proposals. Each of the posters features a photo of a North American mom who lost a child to overdose.

They also encourage families who have been touched by addiction or overdose to share their stories of survival and tolerance on the Compassionate Writings on the Wall Facebook page.

The campaign will end on Mother’s Day with a call to action.

“Put a candle in the window for the March of Mothers with Missing Children due to the war on drugs in Mexico. Take a picture and post to social media,” the release says.

All the posters can be found at the Moms United website.  

Image Credit: Submitted

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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