Advocacy group talks to Creston students about dangers of substance abuse

Next weekend, the Grade 10 students at Kootenay River Secondary School will take part in a powerful presentation from RISE-22.

The group consists of Creston residents working alongside Wagner Hills Farm Society of Langley, B.C.

For the last 40 years, Wagner Hills has provided rehabilitation to men and women on the road to recovery from addiction. People from all over the country come to the facility in Langley for help.

In 2011, Wagner Hills started Creston House in Lister as a transitional place for those re-entering society. It continued for about five years before closing.

Together, RISE-22 and Wagner Hills aim to raise awareness of the dangers of substance abuse.

“Addiction is all-encompassing event that happens not only to the person, but to the entire family,” said Steve McCaughey of RISE-22, who is also a recovering drug addict himself.

“It radiates. And it can be difficult for a person struggling with addiction to see outside the box they’ve put themselves in. Addiction is often a side effect, if you will, of a much deeper problem.”

Much like the PARTY (Prevent Alcohol & Risk-Related Trauma in Youth) Program that took place in the fall, students will have the opportunity to learn by hearing the real-life stories of survivors, this time from addiction.

READ MORE: PARTY program aims to prevent tragic accidents among youth

“We want to share information about addiction and the road that it can take a person down,” said McCaughey.

“These are people that have been down that road, and then have risen above their circumstances.”

On Friday, May 27, RISE-22 will visit the school for the presentation, followed by a question and answer period to allow the students to directly engage with the topic.

The next day, a free concert featuring Stonehouse 25 will be held at Millennium Park for the teens at 7 p.m. The faith-based show will feature more stories from participants of Wagner Hills.

From this inaugural event, RISE-22 hopes to keep building and make it an annual occurence. Those interested in donating to the initiative can contact Dave Callaway at 250-428-6000.

For more information, visit RISE 22 on Facebook. More resources are also available on wagnerhills.com. McCaughey is also available to answer questions about the event at 250-977-1183.

RISE-22 is discussing freedom from substance abuse. (Pixabay)

RISE-22 is discussing freedom from substance abuse. (Pixabay)

addictionsCreston Valley