Alberta Health Services is shining a spotlight on substance and gambling addictions this week with a number of events being held around the community. The theme of this year’s National Addictions Awareness Week is ‘small actions make big differences’. AHS Community Addictions Services Administrator Korie-Lyn Northey says this can mean things as simple as being aware of the choices of family members or even co-workers when it comes to substance use.

“We want to be respectful of our colleagues and if we have open discussions with them about these things, some people will reveal that they are actually choosing not to drink or not to do drugs, and of course that they are showing up fit for duty. That’s really important for the workplace.”

This week helps highlight the prevention and treatment services that AHS provides to the city and the surrounding area. Northey says if someone would like to seek help for themselves or someone they love, it’s important they be aware of the addictions services AHS provides.

“It’s important that if someone is struggling with an addiction that they can get support. There is treatment available at any Alberta Health Services site in the province. Addiction and Mental Health has local counselors that are available and we offer services free of charge.”

AHS will also be marking addictions awareness week with a number of events including a presentation on Addiction and the Family on Thursday at 7 pm at the library as well as a free community dinner at the Salvation Army on Thursday as well. On Friday AHS will be hosting The Sobriety Walk: Walking the Red Road, which will include an open house at the Salvation Army starting at 2 pm, the walk starting at 5:30 pm, and will be followed by an aboriginal pipe ceremony and round dance at the Friendship Centre. A safe and sober pledge tree will be set up at the library as well from now until January 4.