Recovery Capital Conference of Canada - New Westminster British Columbia

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Anvil Centre

777 Columbia Street

New Westminster, BC V3M 1B6


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Do you manage employees, work in healthcare, or want to learn more about Recovery Capital?

Join us for the 3rd annual Recovery Capital Conference. There are many conferences about addiction, this is a two-day conference about evidence-based recovery systems of care. Last year the conference sold out, with this year’s line up and last year’s positive evaluations, we are sure to sell out in 2019. Register today!

Added to the conference this year – a national dialogue where delegates will be engaged across Canada to provide input regarding Building Recovery Capital in Canada, and offering suggestions for a Recovery Capital Tool Kit for Canadians, designed by Canadian Addiction Recovery Stakeholders. Our goal by 2022, every Canadian with a substance use disorder participates in a nationalized Recovery Capital Assessment to sustain recovery from addiction.

Who Should Register?

Physicians, Occupational Health Leaders, Human Resources Managers, Health Care Policy Makers, Therapists, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Interventionists, Residential Treatment Centre Management and Clinical Teams, Students, Union Leaders, Community Leaders, Disability Management Coordinators, Professional Regulatory Bodies, Insurance Carriers, Labour Relations Specialists, Employee Assistance Program providers, Labour Lawyers, Safety Committee Members, Union Representatives.

With over 35 speakers, continuing education units, and exhibitors .. this Canadian Conference will engage delegates in the collaborative practice of solution-focused care for people and their families, supported by paraprofessionals, peers, and mutual support systems.

This year's conference also features the premiere of a Canadian documentary film on the Portuguese model.

More details can be found on the Conference Website, September 5th, and 6th, 2019

The Conference is followed by Recovery Day BC on September 7th and is part of Recovery Week BC.

Interested in Sponsorship or Exhibiting? Click Here

Presented by

Last Door Recovery Society, Westminster House, Canada Centre on Substance, Cedars at Cobble Hill, Global BC, Save On Foods, iRecover, Orchard Recovery Centre,


Dr. Gabor Mate

Dr. Gabor Mate

The Myth of Normal: Illness and Health in an Insane Culture.

For all our progress in understanding and treating mental illness, it continues to be a subject of misapprehension, prejudice and stigmatization. The reason for that may be not its strangeness but its familiarity. Very few individuals or families are not touched by at least some aspects of mental dysfunction, some periods of the discouragement, disconnect or anxiety that, on a deeper and more chronic level, characterizes the mind state of the mentally ill. And beyond individual experience or predisposition, many factors in this stress and confused culture conduce to mental malfunction on a broad social scale. This talk will explore the causes and normality" of depression, anxiety and addictions in our society.

Andrea Barthwell

Dr. Andrea Barthwell

Former Deputy Director for Demand Reduction at the Office of National Drug Control Policy at the White House under President George W. Bush.

Individualized Treatment for Recovery Enhancement: Managing expectations for outcomes

Behavioral Health Programs are popping up like daffodils in spring- often inspired by a great piece of beachfront property, an idea, or the potential to cash out in 5- 7 years. NIDA has defined the elements of treatment but many new programs resist adoption of these scientifically derived principles in favor of ones own recovery experience or a branded treatment model (packaged empirical ideas or research ideas without attribution) promoted by a charismatic speaker who is on the road so much you wonder when he has the time to see patients. Dr. Barthwell will compare and contrast two treatment processes that focus on disparate outcomes and setting informed by a comprehensive bio-psycho-social-spiritual-emotional assessment which is used to develop actionable treatment plans aimed at producing resilient, sustained recovery. The notion, and necessity, of a track for a certain condition (i.e. trauma, PTSD, pain, etc.) in the treatment setting will be explored.

Johann Hari

Johann Hari

Rethinking Addiction Social Recovery in the Age of Loneliness

For Johann Hari, drugs have always been personal. One of his earliest memories is of being unable to wake a relative. Since then, he’s watched loved ones struggle with addiction, all the while believing in the basic story about drugs and dependency echoed by our teachers and governments. That is, until he set out to find his own answers. Embarking upon a 30,000-mile, 12-country journey to really understand the war on drugs, Hari uncovered a much different narrative—that everything we’ve been told about addiction for the past 100 years is wrong.

As Hari learned, emerging science proves that addiction isn’t actually caused by drugs, but by conditions of social isolation and pain. Addiction isn’t the result of a moral failing or depravity, or the inevitable result of a chemical dependency, but a product of our social environments. This means we need to pursue a radically different approach to addicts, abandoning conventional cycles of shame, stigma, and incarceration, and instead adopting greater capacities of compassion. “So the opposite of addiction is not sobriety,” Hari writes. “It is human connection.”

In this talk, Hari discusses the landmark studies that demonstrate the connections between addiction and environment. He investigates the countries that have witnessed incredible success by accepting these findings: plummeting rates of drug use, addiction, violent crime, overdoses, and more. And he issues a call to treat the addicts in our lives much differently, changing both our politics and our hearts. Combining the best social science with vividly human anecdotes, this is a transformative talk about what it means to be addicted, and what it means to recover.

Steven Page

Steven Page

Founding member of the Barenaked Ladies

Overcoming Adversity

In his funny and self-deprecating keynotes he offers insightful tips on how to feel better, live well, express ourselves every day, and how music helps to heal us. Through moving anecdotes, Page shares his creative processes, how it helped him through his issues. Page talks about overcoming embarrassment, and learning to appreciate, love, and harness his voice. Late in the talk, he picks up an acoustic guitar and starts to strum, reminding us why he’s counted among Canada’s premiere musicians.

David Best

Dr. David Best

Professor of Criminology in the Department of Law and Criminology at Sheffield Hallam University

The Social Contagion of Recovery

More Details to Come


Dr. Marie-Helene Pelletier

Dr. Marie-Helene Pelletier

Dr. Marie-Helene Pelletier is a bilingual practicing psychologist and experienced senior leader with over 20 years of experience in clinical, counselling, and workplace psychology.

Protect your resilience: What every leader needs to know

How resilient are you? It's a question worth asking. Our ability to be resilient, or bounce back, can have a significant influence on how we manage stress and interact with our colleagues, teams, and clients, on our physical and mental health. It can also impact how we respond to change, make decisions, and maintain stamina for ongoing productivity. It can impact our success.

Resilience and mental health in the workplace and in life can be built and improved. This session provides research-based tips to help you build and protect your resilience and support the resilience of others, whether at work or in your personal life. You may be surprised at how applying principles of cognitive behavioural and brain research can produce positive results both at the individual and team levels in your organization.

Dr. Paul Farnan Dr. Paul Sobey

Dr. Paul Farnan and Dr Paul Sobey

Addressing and resolving substance use issues – challenges for the workplace.

Substance use disorders in the workplace are costly, difficult to identify early and can profoundly impact worker health as well as workplace safety and morale. Employees with substance use disorders generally present with complex medical and psychosocial needs. The issues that arise when trying to assist employees with substance use disorders can be challenging and require collaboration between key stakeholders.This session is designed to assist stakeholders in developing customized approaches to having the difficult conversations required, coordinating assessments, treatment and follow up with the goal of safe and durable return to work. Using didactic and interactive approaches the presenters will discuss the foundations of a recovery informed workplace and how structuring a cooperative substance use in the workplace policy can benefit from this approach.

Dr. Jenny Melamed

Workplace monitoring in safety sensitive individuals: Is there a role for family physicians?

There is an ongoing need for Monitoring of individuals with substance use disorders in safety sensitive work settings in order to protect public safety. Dr. Melamed will explore the potential for monitoring of safety sensitive workers by family physicians and the logistical, legal and legislative framework in which medical monitoring is conducted.


Jessica Cooksey

Dr. Ray Baker and Jessica Cooksey

Recovery Oriented Knowledge, Attitudes and Skills for Addiction Clinicians

A training experience for specialized clinicians, community based volunteers, paraprofessionals and primary care health providers, introducing the attitudes, knowledge and skills most effective in helping persons with addictions and psychiatric disorders as they enter and progress along their individual journeys of recovery. Topics covered include definitions of recovery, description, discussion, measurement and application of recovery capital and the principles and practices included in an effective recovery oriented system of care.


Erik Leijonmarck

Erik Leijonmarck

Primary prevention as building blocks for healthy communities - Case of Iceland

Preventing drug use is difficult. Ingrained habits are hard to change, and individuals tend to not act on information of what is best for them. The idea that “nothing can be done” to seriously address levels of drugs use in society has contributed to a policy focus on making drug use less harmful or accommodated through health interventions rather than trying to bring down demand for drugs overall.

But significant and population wide reductions in drug use can be achieved through consistent and evidence-based alterations of the social environments in lives of young people. By mapping and addressing risk and protective factors in local communities’ youngsters can be prevented from establishing patterns of drug seeking and anti-social behaviour.

This requires a shift in thinking, from an individual perspective to a collective perspective, and from short-term goal setting to long-term goal setting.

On Iceland levels of tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs use have been decreasing for consecutive 20 years to very low levels, resulting in lesser demand for treatment and costs for the health care sector. Since 2017 the world is increasingly looking towards the island in the Atlantic Ocean whose efforts in bringing down levels of substance use have sparked a silent revolution among parents, schools and the wider communities as social capital grows.

Rand Teed

Rand Teed

Mining The Mind - Neuroplasticity in Recovery Capital

Recovery is an ongoing process of replacing old patterns with new patterns. Neuroplasticity is the brains capacity to build new connections which create new feelings and behaviors. This presentation will outline the science behind 'changing your mind' as well as tips, techniques and methods of helping people in recovery (any stage) continue to enhance their recovery path.

Dawn Nickel

Dr. Dawn Nickel

The Promise of Social Media in Supporting Long Term Recovery for Women

There is a growing evidence base that digital social network sites (SNSs) are increasingly effective for people looking to build recovery capital. Among the many benefits of engaging with SNSs:

o Peer-to-peer support
o Improves health literacy
o Peers share stories, strategies, tools and resources
o Some evidence of increased consumer activation, intervention
o Increases recovery capital and enhances recovery identity
o Helps build an abstinent network (supportive of recovery)
o Moderates the role of stigma
o Provides a sense of belonging and empowerment
o Various roles possible: lurking, participating and leading

Dawn Nickel (PhD) is a visionary in the recovery movement and over the past eight years has been working diligently to create social media spaces to support women who are in or seeking recovery. Along with her daughter Taryn Strong (also in recovery) Dawn is the creator of SHE RECOVERS - currently the largest online platform dedicated to supporting women in recovery from addiction and related life challenges. Dawn started her own journey of recovery from a substance use disorder and mental health issues in 1987. She is a strong advocate for the view that every woman in or seeking recovery must be supported to find the tools and pathways that will work best for her as an individual.

In this engaging session, Dawn will describe the consumer-driven evolution and growth of SHE RECOVERS, an international movement of women that started out as a Facebook Page in the summer of 2011. Since that time, SHE RECOVERS has been creating welcoming spaces and transformative opportunities – on and offline – to connect, support and empower recovering women. As part of the presentation, Dawn will share the results of a cross-sectional survey designed with researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and administered to the SHE RECOVERS community in the fall of 2018. In that survey, respondents shared their views about how they believed that social media engagement had enhanced their recovery journeys.

Additional Ticket Option

David Sheff


An American author of the books Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America's Greatest Tragedy and Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction

Just Say Know: Helping Families and Communities Face the Drug-use and Addiction

In the past, people thought addiction was a choice made by people without will power or morals, who wanted to get high no matter how much they hurt their loved ones – or themselves. Suffers were shamed and blamed. We demanded of them confession and contrition.

But addiction isn’t a choice. It’s a progressive, chronic, and potentially fatal disease. People who are ill don’t need blame, chastisement, or punishment, but compassion, support, and the best medical treatment available.

Addiction doesn’t only affect the one who’s ill, but their family; every family with an addicted loved one knows the confusion, debilitation, and fear. Like their addicted loved one, they need support. They also need help navigating what can be the most harrowing challenge they’ll ever face.

The good news is that the addicted – and their families – can heal. No person or family can face addiction alone. To help our loved ones and families, communities must come together and work together. Our efforts must involve the efforts of parents, teachers and schools, social services agencies, providers of health care, businesses, faith-based groups, law enforcement, politicians, and others. When we face addiction together, we move out of darkness and suffering and into light, hope, and healing.

Linda Lane Devlin

Moderation provided by:

Linda Lane Devlin of Interventions on Demand

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Anvil Centre

777 Columbia Street

New Westminster, BC V3M 1B6


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