3 City Tour Recovery Capital Conference Presenters

Three-city one-day Recovery Capital Conference Series are a series of one-day educational events providing expert speakers and lived experience with discussions on shifting to a Recovery Oriented System of Care in Canada to overcome addiction.

Registration Links:

New Westminster Tickets

Regina Tickets

If you work in Healthcare, Occupational Health, or are part of an Indigenous Health Team, this is a must-attend event.

Addiction Recovery Pathways and Healthcare Panel

New Westminster, BC, September 8th

Regina, SK, September 25th

The two-part session includes panelists who will explore the role of Addiction Medicine in recovery management, both critically and affirmatively.  Provide primary care approaches to past traumatic experience inquiry and explore the relationship between stress, substance use and recovery. Recovery-oriented systems of care need to have a built-in stress management component that significantly increases recovery outcomes. It is well demonstrated that Addiction Medicine is solidly grounded in an evidence-based, biomedical approach to treatment. 

Overall Panel Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the role of Addiction Medicine in holistic recovery management.
  2. Critique limitations and challenges.
  3. Learn the importance of a comprehensive, inclusive approach to recovery.
  4. Describe a primary care clinician’s role in providing care to traumatized patients.
  5. Discuss the elements of a brief biopsychosocial profile that can be used to informally discover trauma.
  6. List 5 questions that can be used to formally screen for a potential trauma disorder.
  7. Understand the relationship between stress and craving.
  8. Understand the relationship between substance use and stress.
  9. Understand how mindfulness and meditation can be used to increase recovery capital.

Jessica Cooksey, Panel Moderator

These two-part sessions will start with a foundational understanding of recovery capital (i.e.: the internal strengths and external resources used to (re) initiate and sustain recovery) By moderator Jessica Cooksey.

Panel Speaker Abstracts

Dr. Robert Fox – September 8th New Westminster

Session Title – A Primary Care Approach to Taking a Trauma History

Asking a patient about past traumatic experiences is important but can be intimidating. Dr. Fox shares his primary care approach to this task.               

Dr. Fox is a family physician in a rural indigenous community. After thirteen years of practice, he took a sabbatical year to complete the St. Paul’s Hospital Addiction Medicine Fellowship. Integrating addiction medicine into primary care is challenging. He enjoys learning about other’s solutions and sharing his own.

Learning Objectives         

  1. Describe a primary care clinician’s role in providing care to traumatized patients.
  2. Discuss the elements of a brief biopsyhosocial profile that can be used to informally discover trauma.
  3. List 5 questions that can be used to formally screen for a potential trauma disorder.”       


  1. Papovich, C. Trauma and Children in Foster Care: A Comprehensive Overview. 2019, July 10. Retrieved June 14, 2023 from www.csp.edu/publication/trauma-children-in-foster-care-a-comprehsive-overview.
  2. Trauma Informed Practice Guide, 2013. Centre of Excellent for Women’s Health. Retrieved June 10, 2023 from https://cewh.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/2013_TIP-Guide.pdf
  3. Mee-Lee, David.The ASAM Criteria: Treatment Criteria for Addictive, Substance-Related, and Co-Occurring Conditions. 3rd Edition, 2013.”

Dr. Peter Butt Regina, SK September 25, 2023

Session Title – Recovery Management in Addiction Medicine

Addiction Medicine is solidly grounded in an evidence-based, biomedical approach to treatment.  Nevertheless, it is important to situate it within a holistic, recovery-oriented approach through the inclusion of a bio-psycho-social-spiritual approach and/or alignment with other care providers.  Some physicians or nurse practitioners may limit their role to pharmacotherapy and toxicology monitoring, while others provide more extensive counseling.  Pharmacotherapy alone however is still helpful, if not crucial, in managing withdrawal and mitigating craving to help people stabilize and progress into remission and recovery.  If one is assisting another to construct a life worth living without using, the person needs to be sufficiently stable to engage in the recovery work.  Addiction Medicine should be fully supportive of this work and transition, and not an obstacle.  Integration with a broad spectrum of recovery supports is therefore important to ensure people can progress towards their goals, experience early successes, acquire increasing recovery capital, and transition into recovery. 

Staged reduction of the biomedical control and dependency is an important aspect of Addiction Medicine care.  Pharmacotherapy can be life-saving, but it is not a panacea.  People need more than that for recovery to occur, provided within our clinical care pathways.

This presentation will review the role of Addiction Medicine in recovery management, both critically and affirmatively. 

Dr. Peter Butt is a Certificant and Fellow with the College of Family Physicians of Canada, with Special Competency in Addiction Medicine.  He is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan and served as a consultant in Addiction Medicine in the Saskatchewan Health Authority for 24 years.  In addition to teaching and other research, he chaired the original development of Canada’s Low Risk Drinking Guidelines (2011), co-chaired the Canadian Guidelines on Alcohol Use Disorder Among Older Adults (2019) and co-chaired the 2023 Canadian Guidance on Alcohol and Health with the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction.”

Learning Objectives         

  1. Understand the role of Addiction Medicine in holistic recovery management
  2. Critique limitations and challenges
  3. Learn the importance of a comprehensive, inclusive  approach to recovery”

Sarah Kozusko, New Westminster September 8th, and Regina September 25th

Session Title – Your Pharmacy and Recovery

Collaboration and healing-focused care should be the corner store of all healthcare interactions. It is imperative that supports are formed around a person, not a system. Health care can not begin with prescription writing. Health care begins with our hierarchy of needs – food, shelter, safety. Community pharmacists are the most accessible health care professionals. We need to start looking at community pharmacies as a hub for collaborative models occurring where people are.            

Sarah Kozusko is the Store Operator and Pharmacy Manager at Queen City Wellness Pharmacy in Regina’s Heritage Community.  Sarah graduated in 2004 in from the University of Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy. She went on to expand her clinical knowledge with advanced diplomas and certifications in diabetes, cardiology, respiratory diseases, anti-coagulation, geriatrics, and substance use disorder.

Sarah is a fierce advocate for her patients and in the advancement of health care and her profession to better serve those in need. Educating and promoting the profession of pharmacy is a priority as demonstrated through her ongoing education, mentorship of pharmacy, nursing and medical students and as a board member of the College of Pharmacy.

Sarah’s work with primarily marginalized clientele is driven by community needs and collaboration both inside and outside the traditional healthcare system. These efforts have led to her being named Regina’s 2021 Citizen of year and being recognized with Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal.”        

Learning Objectives         

During the panel discussion, Sarah will discuss building a safe space, and learning how to listen to what the community needs. The importance in being predictable, and dependable when building trust with vulnerable people.

Rand Teed, New Westminster September 8th, Regina September 25th,

Session Title Check the Operating System – Stress, Substance use and Our Brain

The presentation will explore the relationship between stress, substance use, and recovery. Recovery Oriented systems of care need to have a built-in stress management component that significantly increases recovery outcomes.

Rand has been working with teens and adults for over 50 years and for the past 25 years has been helping them understand how substance use can get in the way of having the life they want.

B.A, a B.Ed, and is an Internationally Certified Prevention Specialist and a Canadian Certified Addiction Counsellor

He is the developer of the Drug Class program which has been offered in many Regina High Schools for several years and is the writer and host of the Award Winning Drug Class TV Series. (Gemini Award Best Direction in A Youth Series 2008)

Current member of National Recovery Advisory Council and Saskatchewan Representative on CCSMH Cannabis Working Group

50 years of continuous sobriety.

Recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal for Contributions to Health Care

Author: Which Way to Turn-Understanding Adolescent Substance Use

Learning Objective

  1. Understand the relationship between stress and craving.
  2. Understand the relationship between substance use and stress.
  3. Understand how mindfulness and meditation can be used to increase recovery capital.


  1. Neurobiology of addiction: a neurocircuitry analysis
  2. George F Koob 1, Nora D Volkow 2 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27475769/
  3. Relative efficacy of mindfulness-based relapse prevention, standard relapse prevention, and treatment as usual for substance use disorders: a randomized clinical trial.
  4. Bowen S, Witkiewitz K, Clifasefi SL, Grow J, Chawla N, Hsu SH, Carroll HA, Harrop E, Collins SE, Lustyk MK, Larimer ME. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=mindfulness+based+relapse+prevention
  5. Dopamine Nation Anna Lembke

Dr. Julian Somers,

Session Title: Canada’s Addiction Epidemic: Prevention, Recovery, and Our Social Contract


It is not possible to sustain a drug poisoning epidemic unless people are continuously placed at increased risk. Themes of despair, vulnerability, and exclusion from society intersect importantly with Canada’s poisoning crisis. Only 1/3 of those who die of drug poisoning earned at least $500 CDN in the year of their passing. And in British Columbia drug poisonings are the leading cause of death among those aged 10-18.

Reducing the prevalence of high-risk drug use requires distinct but related strategies addressing prevention and promoting recovery. These activities implicate diverse sectors in society to ensure that all people experience relationships that reinforce wellness and collective security. Current conceptualizations of “recovery” include the concept of citizenship and participation in society. Similar principles apply to the prevention of harmful drug use.

Experiences with reform in Canada and internationally illustrate practices that have proven effective at reducing drug-related crises. These practices engage government policies addressing education, employment, justice, health, and housing. And crucially, the ways that sectors are engaged reflects the culture and values of the populations that they serve. Therefore, applying lessons from one jurisdiction to another may require attention to the prevailing social contract, including the potential need for renewal.

Canadian governments can effectively replicate successes achieved elsewhere in the reversal of drug-related crises. However, a focus on particular policies may be insufficient unless governments first establish that those policies will effectively mobilize the strengths of communities and advance the values of the population. In this way, people who already enjoy the full experience of healthy citizenship are seen as the primary means of expanding opportunities for citizenship to others.

Learning Objectives

The relationship between risk reduction, prevention, and recovery promotion in the context of drug poisonings

The elements of successful and unsuccessful attempts to reduce poisonings

Why the social contract is integral to government-led successes reducing poisonings and other drug-related harms


Humphreys, K., Shover C. L., Andrews C. M., Bohnert A. S. B., Brandeau M. L., Caulkins J. P., Chen J. H., Cuellar M.-F.,

Hurd Y. L., Juurlink D. N., Koh H. K., Krebs E. E., Lembke A., Mackey S. C., Ouellete L. L., Suffoletto B., & Timko C. (2022). Responding to the opioid crisis in North America and beyond: Recommendations of the Stanford-Lancet Commission. Lancet (London, England), 399(10324), 555–604. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(21)02252-2

Portuguese Government. (1999). Portugal’s National Drug Strategy 1999 (English version). https://www.emcdda.europa.eu/drugs-library/portugals-national-drug-strategy-1999-english-version_en

Moniruzzaman A, Rezansoff SN, & Somers JM (2022). The Relationship between the legal status of drug

possession and the criminalization of marginalized drug users: A literature review. Journal of Community

Safety and Well-Being, 7(4), 140-147.

Dr Jenny Melamed

Session Title – Exploring ROSC in the Doctors’ Office

Alliance Clinic is a full-service addiction clinic. I will describe how we treat addiction in a biopsychosocial model incorporating a treatment team of therapists and including ministry, and parole officers and encourage attendance at mutual support meetings. We do not provide PSAD. Patients are supported in their journey including those that, once they are stable, want to wean off MOUD.

Learning Objective

Demonstrate the importance of a therapeutic alliance and show how MOUD is but one arm of recovery

Indigenizing Recovery Approaches Panel

This panel takes place in three cities

New Westminster, BC, September 8th

Regina, SK, September 25th

Panel Speakers:

T’lakwēl – Marnie Scow, Indigenization of Responses to Substance Use

Piita Aapasskaan – Kyle Young Pine, Recovery Coaching

sɬə́məxʷ – Rain Pierre, Artist, Lived Experience Motivational Speaker

The two-part session centers the need to develop in a way that addresses spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental gifts. Panelists will provide examples of the significant investment, training, resources, consultation, and agreement necessary to decolonize mainstream narratives of substance use, harm reduction and recovery. Panelists will explore deconstructing colonial ideologies, pan-indigeneity, and indigenization. Each of the three panelists will share unique perspectives of self-determination, sovereignty and resistance and engage in dialogue about cultural interventions and Eurocentric approaches to substance use and recovery. 

Learning Objective

  1. Identify the long-standing impact of colonial ideologies on recovery-oriented systems of care.
  2. Identify policy and practice considerations of acceptability, consistency with Indigenous laws and Traditions, and accountability to the people most affected.
  3. Recognize incorporating Indigenous worldviews, knowledge, and perspectives into cultural interventions and Eurocentric approaches.

Jordan Bowman, New Westminster September 8th, Regina September 25th,h

Session Title – Recovery Management and Outcomes using Technology.

Alberta has become the first province in Canada to implement My Recovery Plan in all publicly funded addiction treatment facilities. My Recovery Plan is a key component of Alberta’s shift toward a recovery-oriented system of addiction and mental health care including a shift in focus from reporting on outputs to client outcomes. The web based platform helps providers to assess a client’s recovery capital, identify recovery goals, monitor progress toward these goals, and identify challenges while enabling clients to take an active role in their recovery. This data will enable the government to identify systemic gaps and understand system demand to support planning and inform future investment decisions.

This session is designed to provide participants with a foundational understanding of how we can measure the internal strengths and resources used for recovery by individuals.  How data is a powerful tool when measuring treatment outcomes.  

Learning Objective

  1. Stimulate thought and discussion on recovery outcomes.
  2. Provide a foundational understanding of a multifaceted integrated approach, including strategies to embrace people-centered recovery management
  3. Explore the role of community recovery capital (i.e.:  the necessary scaffolding of a recovery-oriented environment where support for finding and pursuing personally valued goals and engaging in meaningful activities are embedded)  

Chris Beaudry, New Westminster September 8th, Regina September 25th

Session Title – Trauma and Recovery

Chris Beaudry, former Assistant Coach of the Humboldt Hockey Team, brings an inspiring and deeply personal narrative to the stage. He provides a firsthand account of the 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus crash, a tragic event that shook the core of the sporting world, resulting in the loss of sixteen lives and causing injury to thirteen others. This harrowing experience forms a backdrop to his discourse on trauma, resilience, and recovery.
Beaudry intertwines his own story with that of his mother’s struggle against addiction, creating a compelling narrative about the often-overlooked human aspects of addiction. He delves into the intricacies of fear patterns and the unconscious mechanisms that come into play during addiction, offering an insightful examination of how cognition can be more destabilizing than the addiction itself.
Drawing upon his experiences from the Humboldt accident, Beaudry provides an enlightening perspective on how his personal recovery program became a beacon of hope amidst the chaos, aiding him in navigating through the aftermath of the tragedy.
This talk is not merely a recounting of events, but an exploration of the human spirit’s capacity to overcome adversity and foster growth. The audience will be left with a deeper understanding of addiction and trauma, and the often-unseen strength that can emerge in the face of tragedy.
The presentation concludes with a reflective look at his current state of being, demonstrating the transformative power of resilience leaving the audience with an enduring message of hope and strength.

Giuseppe Ganci, Recovery Out Loud

Session Title Building a Recovery Community with Collaboration and Assertive Linkage

Organizer of the world’s largest “Sober Pride” and “Recovery Day BC” which attracts thousands of people, Giuseppe will present on how to mobilize communities to recover outloud.

Session Description

Addiction often leads to isolation; recovery helps change that. In a Recovery Oriented System of Care that builds Recovery Capital, the goal is to focus on the whole person and the whole community with which they live to heal. One of those opportunities is to help the individual have fun in recovery, building their human, social and cultural capital, individuals with substance use disorder have higher health outcomes.
From many in early recovery we hear that recovery was neither visible nor easily accessible, by building a recovery community, we not only help the individual in front of us, but we are also helping the next person who may experience some of the benefits of a recovery community. By building a recovery community, the message of recovery is more visible.

We can build recovery communities by supporting recovery events, anti-stigma campaigns, recovery awareness days, and advocacy drives to force government policy changes so people who use substances feel less marginalized and encouraged to ask for help.

Using peer support and thriving on the personal experience of the community, allows the community to feel empowered to make these initiatives start off as grassroots with room to grow, strengthening and supporting the community along the way.

To help grow the local recovery community, community partners are needed such as municipal, provincial, and federal governments, treatment centres, indigenous community leaders, LGBTQ2S+ organizations.

Learning Objectives

  • Participants will learn how to engage the community to organize and want recovery events
  • What is the return on time and money invested in community events
  • The difference between a recovery event and a mutual support group event
  • Resources to organizing recovery events
  • How to move forward after COVID with in-person events
  • Recovery Month has been voted in by the House of Commons, now what?


  • Munton AG, Wedlock E and Gomersall A (2014) The role of social and human capital in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. HRB Drug and Alcohol Evidence Review 1. Dublin: Health Research Board
  • Gilbert, WC, “Correlates of Recovery from Substance Use Disorders” (2015). Doctoral Dissertations. 757. https://opencommons.uconn.edu/dissertations/757
  • Russell, C. (2018). Essential Elements of an Asset-Based Community Development Process. ABCD Institute Publication .
  • Anderson, M., Devlin, A. M., Pickering, L., McCann, M., & Wight, D. (2021). ‘It’s not 9 to 5 recovery’: the role of a recovery community in producing social bonds that support recovery. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 28(5), 475–485. https://doi.org/10.1080/09687637.2021.1933911