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About the Project

Sudden Silence: Hidden Voices was created by Deborah Bailey to bring awareness to the public that over 10,000 people in BC have lost their lives to drug overdose since 2016.

Addiction is a treatable, chronic medical…condition…involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences. 

ASAM 2019

Stigma refers to negative and judgemental attitudes towards those who use drugs.  Stigma creates isolation and barriers that have contributed to the overdose crisis.  Because of the stigma of using drugs, being addicted to drugs, or receiving treatment for use of drugs, many people feel shamed by others and so try to keep their drug. use hidden.

Regulated Safe Supply refers to a regulated supply of drugs which are of a known strength and content The current drug supply bought off the street is often toxic.  These drugs are not of a known strength or content This is what kills people.  An example of a regulated, safe supply are drugs that are prescribed and provided through a pharmacy.  

There are many models that could be explored provide a much safer supply.  

A uniquely BC  resource.

The BC Centre on Substance Use is a provincially networked organization with a mandate to develop, help implement, and evaluate evidence-based approaches to substance use and addiction.

Sudden Silence: Hidden Voices is a project that was funded by a grant to Moms Stop the Harm from the Vancouver Community Action Team. Sudden Silence was created to broaden awareness through the stories of 16 individuals who lost their lives in the overdose crisis. Since their voices have been silenced, a loved one speaks for them. The stigma of being a drug user and the impact this had on each person is highlighted.


Sudden Silence is moveable display and is intended to 'travel' to multiple destinations to be displayed for 1-2 weeks.  Email Deb Bailey ( for information on how to book Sudden Silence.


Photography- Gabrielle Beer (

Graphic Designer- Marla Britton, Brittondesign Service

Display Stands- Priscilla Wilson-Exhibit Express. 

Project Lead- Deb Bailey,

Special thanks to all of the Sudden Silence:  Hidden Voices  participants

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