Friday September 30, 2011
Lenny Carpenter, Wawatay News
Doris Slipperjack’s battle against prescription drug abuse was featured at the Biindigate Film Festival in Thunder Bay in the world premiere of The Life You Want.
“This was my third time watching this video and it still makes me cry,” said the 22-year-old mother of three after the Sept. 24 screening. “It’s been really rough, actually. But even though I’ve relapsed, I don’t let that stop me from getting back on.”
The 34-minute documentary film was produced by Thunderstone Pictures, the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority and the Sioux Lookout Zone Chief’s Committee on Health to bring attention to the situation facing many families and communities in northern Ontario.
“I feel like I’m fighting a battle within myself,” Slipperjack said in the film. “And that’s a never-ending battle. I thought being high was everything; being high was my world. But it’s not because when I was high I couldn’t even think, I couldn’t even feel.”
The film follows Slipperjack from her home in Eabametoong to a treatment centre near Kenora, where she gets off the prescription drugs for a time but eventually relapses after her mother-in-law passes away.
Slipperjack eventually signed up for a treatment program using Suboxone, a combination medication program that treats adults dependent on opiates such as oxycodone or morphine.
“It’s like a substitute, you know how your mind is always thinking of opiates,” Slipperjack said. “It’s like a blocker; it prevents you from doing. It helped me with the withdrawals at the beginning, but now I’m feeling good.”
Slipperjack has now started up Eabametoong’s first youth council and is doing presentations on addiction in her community and on local radio. She has also been campaigning for a youth centre and a treatment centre in her community.
“I’m finally on my path to what I want to do – help people.”
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