Nov. 23, 2023 –  ‘Addictions Don’t Discriminate’ is the name of a temporary exhibit set up by the Medicine Hat Drug Coalition. It’s National Addiction Awareness week in Canada, and this exhibit is meant to destigmatize addiction, educate and show that there is hope for people struggling. “You know, we’re all addicted to something,” says volunteer of the exhibit, Diane MacNaughton. “I think we’ve all suffered trauma, so we all should be able to relate to this exhibit.”

One story told at the exhibit follows Jordan, someone who used drugs to deal with mental health issues he developed during his childhood. Tyler is another, a man who became addicted to opioids after being prescribed them for back pain.

These are all stories that MacNaughton says need to be seen.

“It affects everybody in society and we have to look at all these individuals as members of our society. They’re just not throwaway individuals, we need to help them,” explains MacNaughton.

The effects of addiction is something MacNaughton has witnessed a lot in her life. 

“I’ve been watching people die from drug overdoses and suicides for the last 20, 25 years and I am tired of watching my friends die, hearing about people dying. Something has to be done,” says MacNaughton. “I’m just tired of it, so this is one of the things I volunteer for that hopefully helps that and helps people.”