Guy Felicella grew up in a middle class home in Richmond but fell into addiction at a young age. Guy spent 30 years in the repeated cycle of gangs, addiction, treatment and jail. He spent nearly 20 years residing in the two block radius in the Downtown Eastside and using many resources, including harm reduction, to keep himself alive.
Full interview here and scroll down for clips from the interview and further resources.
Named in The 2020 Vanmag Power 50 and recipient of the 2021 Courage to Come Back Award, Guy is a qualified expert who devotes his time and career to public speaking and advocating to reduce the stigma of harm reduction and educate on drug policy and addiction.
Today, Guy has escaped the grips of the turmoil that kept him suffering and resides with his wife and three young children with multiple years of recovery and sobriety under his belt.
Guy is passionate about advocating for the vulnerable people who still suffer in addiction and educating communities on harm reduction to eliminate the stigma that exists around it. Currently Guy works for Vancouver Coastal Health, Ministry of Mental Health and Addiction and the BC Centre on Substance Use. In addition, Guy attends various school districts and post secondary institutions to educate students on addiction.
Guy spent nearly his entire life suffering in addiction and now he is using his experience to change the hearts and minds of people to the idea that recovery is harm reduction and harm reduction is recovery. Gone are the days where it’s either harm reduction or recovery; it’s both!
“Everything I have in my life today is a direct result of helping somebody else.” Guy Felicella