Everest College hosts its first Addiction Awareness Week

Addiction issues are on the rise, says Tom Peric, lead instructor in the addictions and community services worker program at Everest College.

“I think a program like this one is important because it can help people,” said Peric, who’s been with the school for more than three years. “Unfortunately addictions are increasing in several forms so more services are needed.”

The college recently held its first Addiction Awareness Week at its campus at 2425 Eglinton Ave. E. in Scarborough.

From Nov. 18 to Nov. 22, Everest College held workshops meant to get people interested in joining the program, which offers courses in psychology, relapse prevention and pharmacology, among others.

“We teach people what it takes to help people help themselves,” Peric said. “In this program we put emphasis on addictions, how to treat addictions, how to help people deal with their addictions issues and also how to engage with people in their communities in a helpful way.”

The program offers positive ways to properly engage students, including field trips to places like the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, instructor Jeff Goldman said.

“It is a phenomenal hospital where they’re de-stigmatizing addictions and mental health,” he said. “The goal is to give to give our students hands-on experiences so they can be familiar with addiction and social service agencies.”

The student experience in the program is a good one, student ambassador Jessica Mullett said. She helps the teachers by tutoring other students and she represents and speaks on behalf of 15 students.

“I like that we’re really involved with the school and I like that we can have fun,” said Mullet, who tutors others and represents 15 students in her role as ambassador. “We do all the extra curricular activities like bake sales and decorations for workshops.”