Episode 12 - Turning the Titanic - Leslie Mcbain of Moms Stop the Harm

Leslie MacBain - Turning the Titanic


On January 4th, 2014 Leslie McBain lost her son, Jordan, to an overdose; a lethal combination of prescription drugs. As a teenager he had done the typical partying but by age 19 he was addicted to alcohol and cocaine. He attended treatment but relapsed shortly after. He managed to curb his addiction but later a doctor prescribed him Oxycontin for a back injury. Sadly, the beginning of the end. When he told his Dr he was addicted and needed help; he was simply cut off his prescription, and left to find it elsewhere.

Leslie is a co-founder of Moms Stop the Harm (MSTH) -  an organization of moms who have lost their children to the disease of addiction. They have banded together for strength; to advocate for compassionate policy changes in the face of an epidemic that continues to take away lives.They strive to decriminalize the possession of drugs and want the federal government to create a safe, regulated supply of opioids in order to save thousands of preventable deaths.


-  The cancelled patent for Oxycontin opened up the black market to replace the drug with knockoffs, and that is why we are seeing all the deaths today.

- Leslie identifies three major themes within the overdose communities - people were using substances alone, kids only experimenting (not actively addicted) got the poisoned drugs, and that the parents had tried everything they could to save their child.

- Leslie and Matt talk about the difficulties in journey to recovery such as: trying to find a good treatment facility, finding a good doctor who is educated in the disease of addiction and can prescribe the correct medications.

- Leslie shares great insight about what is needed to change to help people with addiction. Having detox, support,medically assisted treatment after detox, ongoing counselling and support services.

- Leslie and Matt talk about the importance of talking with the youth today about drugs - to be real and not give false info or scare tactics. Things like saying “Don’t do this” has the opposite effect.

- Leslie discusses B.C Centre of Substance Use (BCCSU) Initiative that focus’ on: Family Engagement, Peer Support Groups and a Recovery Pod (led by Marshall Smith).

- She talks about “The Gone too Soon” and “The Coping Kit” Handbooks available through BCCSU.

-  “Stronger Together”  a grant funded initiative for community support meetings in BC

- Leslie shares advice for parents struggling with a child in Addiction. She explains that amidst tough challenges of behavior, and approach of “tough love” or “rock bottoms” don’t work, in fact it’s counter productive.

- Leslie describes goals and visions that MSTH is taking on:

Grief Support, Sibling Support, and online Private Support groups.

- They are advocating for the decriminalization of people who possess drugs as well as asking the federal government to create a safe regulated supply of opioids.


“If we had a safe, regulated supply of opioids for people who are addicted; then the black market would largely disappear. People wouldn’t be dying like they are now.”

“Support groups and sharing stories is one of the most powerful healing tools there is.”

“Family is anyone who loves you, cares for you and supports you.”

“There is nothing else in the history of this country that has killed so many people - that has not been attended to properly.”

“How many people have to die before the government will do the right thing?”

“The government isn’t willing to fund proper treatment services.”

“Organizations need to come together and it’s like slowly turning the Titanic around.

 People are dying; falling off the ship all the time.”


Mom Stop the Harm Website: www.momstoptheharm.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MomsStopTheHarm/

British Columbia Centre on Substance Use: http://www.bccsu.ca/

“Gone Too Soon” Handbook: http://www.bccsu.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Grief_Handbook.pdf

Official Say Know homepage: http://www.sayknow.org/

Canadian Research Initiative of Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairies website: https://crismprairies.ca/

SayKnow.org Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sayknoworg

SayKnow.org Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/SayKnowOrg

Music provided by Redbull DJ Champ, Charly Hustle: http://www.charlyhustlemusic.com

Matt IngrouilleComment