Addiction is a Lonely Place

Addiction can be hard to talk about and even harder to face when you or someone you love is affected by it. Whether it be harmful drinking habits, excessive recreational drug use, or opioid dependency, the effects can be devastating. Family disruption, violence, mental health issues, physical illness and overdose, loss of income, and even crime can result from a substance addiction.

For many, what starts as casual use can spiral into a cycle of hopelessness and social isolation. The stigma associated with addiction keeps many people and their families from seeking the help they so desperately need to recover and regain hope.

Foundation House, Funded by United Way, is Making a Difference

Meet Erik

The loss of a parent is so difficult. When Erik was 17, he lost his father to cancer. He turned to alcohol to cope. Now in his 30’s, he’s still dealing with the loss.

Over the past decade, he’s been through several detox and treatment centres and also served time in jail. He fought to stay sober but as soon as he was out on the streets, he would drink and use right away.

Two and a half years ago, Erik entered detox here. A worker from Umbrella Society for Addictions and Mental Health in Victoria worked with him and offered support. Through the painful process, Erik learned about Foundation House, funded by United Way and how it could change his life. Erik listened. But when he got out of hospital, he soon relapsed.

After a rough summer, he built up the courage to try detox again. His Umbrella worker was there again and this time, Erik took the advice and contacted Foundation House.

Erik is one of 11 men at Foundation House. He’s quiet. He’s gentle. He speaks softly. He’s a problem solver and now the senior resident there whose role is like a house manager. For the new members of the house, he’s there to help and to listen.

Now Erik has a full-time job. He just bought a car. His confidence is growing.

“I don’t know where I’d be if not for here,” says Erik. “I’m not saying it’s easy. Every day is a battle trying to stay sober. Trying to live with 10 other guys is not always easy but in the long run it’s better than being homeless and being drunk all day and not having a life.”

Erik’s top priority shifted from one of chasing the next drink to that of continuous improvement. A month ago, he celebrated one year of sobriety. His mom was there to mark the occasion. Her gift to him? A ring that his father used to wear.

“This house helps people turn their lives around and break the cycle of addiction. It’s done miracles for me.”

Did you know?


Alcohol consumption is on the rise on Vancouver Island and hospitalizations as a direct result of alcohol consumption have increased 35% since 2002.


The rate of overdose deaths in Victoria has tripled since 2008.


There were more than 4.5 times as many illicit drug overdose deaths as motor vehicle accident deaths in 2018.

Show your local love.

You can help make sure that when people like Erik reach out for help, that someone is there to catch them.

Your gift today will be invested in a network of local organization and programs that help people who are struggling with #UNIGNORABLE issues like addiction, mental health issues, and poverty. Please donate today!  Every dollar stays local.