In response to the urgent need for comprehensive education on the overdose crisis among high school students, Chloe Goodison, the visionary founder and executive director of NaloxHome Society, has established a nonprofit organization aimed at providing fact-based drug education in schools across British Columbia. The society’s mission is to equip youth with the knowledge and skills to understand the risks of substance use, recognize the dangers of a poisoned drug supply, and implement harm reduction measures, including naloxone training.
Describe your charity/non-profit/volunteer work in a few sentences.
I founded NaloxHome Society, which is a non-profit that provides comprehensive, youth-to-youth education about the overdose crisis to high school students across British Columbia.
What problem does it aim to solve?
We reach youth during their high school years with fact-based drug education. We talk about the poisoned drug supply, stigma, harm reduction measures, the good Samaritan drug overdose law, and we provide naloxone training. Otherwise, students would not be learning this information, putting them at further risk of overdose.
When did you start/join it?
I started NaloxHome in 2021, but we incorporated it in April 2023 as a Registered Society.
What made you want to get involved?
I’ve always had a deep passion for health equity, specifically in regard to BC’s overdose crisis, housing crisis, and downtown eastside. Having gone through high school during the overdose crisis, I was confused why there was no mention of this pervasive health emergency in any of my classes. I have always believed that you don’t have to leave your postal code to make a difference in the world, and by educating people in your community about the ways to make a difference, we are equipping future generations with the tools to make positive change. As well, I believe that the best form of harm reduction is education.
What was the situation like when you started?
I won a $3,000 award from the Simon Fraser University Student-Community Engagement Competition in Spring 2021, and that really set the wheels in motion. I got my talented friend to draw up a logo for me, and we went with the first draft. I got an interview with the Tri-City News, where I announced that we were looking for 12 volunteers to help with this idea of mine. From there, I connected with people at Fraser Health, who assisted me in creating our curriculum for schools. SHARE Society staff helped make sure our presentation was sensitive and had proper disclosure protocols. Finally, I went to the School District to get approval to operate in the District. Next thing I knew, we had 10 bookings for the month of June 2021 alone!
How has it changed since?
It has changed so much, yet not at all. We now have 55 volunteers on our team, we have reached over 5,000 students, and we run successful annual hygiene drives and clothing drives. Yet, our core values and desire to reach ALL youth with fact-based drug education has not wavered. Last year, we won “Business of the Year” at the 2023 Tri-Cities REACH Awards.
What more needs to be done?
At this point, I just want to expand NaloxHome Society. I want to start by expanding across BC, as we have already had interest from Northern, Interior, and Island Health Authorities. This $50,000 boost from Mazda Canada will certainly assist in making these opportunities feasible.
How can our readers help?
Follow our Instagram account (@NaloxHome) for up-to-date information about the overdose crisis across Canada. Whether or not you think drug use education can apply to you, it can, and it never hurts to know the tools to save a life. Please look into your local charities that support substance use treatment services or provide help for people who use drugs.
Do you have any events coming up?
We are booking up for January – March 2024! Teachers are excited to have us back in their classrooms after Winter Break. During the Spring, we will run our hygiene drive for local unhoused members of the community.
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?
There are so many amazing local charities that I love. I will name two that have helped NaloxHome Society greatly. Firstly, SHARE Society in BC is a local charity that provides essential community services, such as a food bank, youth/adult substance use support, counselling, speech therapy, and SO much more important work. Secondly, Access Youth Outreach Services is a vital non-profit in my community. They provide mobile harm reduction services to youth across the Tri-Cities region and have saved countless lives.