Innocence Lost: Stories of Youth Addiction on PEI

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"Innocence Lost: Stories of Youth Addiction on PEI" YouTube Video Playlist:


"This short documentary features four young adults who tell their personal stories of substance use from how they started to where they are now" (from YouTube). This video features two mothers of young adults that suffered from substance use disorder to speak about their views and how they had tried to help their children recover. "Certified Addictionologist" Dr. Denise Lea is also brought in to explain the extent of the opioid crisis in PEI and to clear common misconceptions people have about withdrawal.

For this camapign, a blog was also posted under the Stories of Youth Addiction Section of the Boys and Girls Club website. It outlines the premise of the campaign, who the campaign would be beneficial to and why they believe awareness and understanding is important to finding solutions to addiction.


Lowell Productions
Health PEI




Copyright © Boys & Girls Club of Charlottetown

From BGCC Blog: "We encourage community members to use and distribute it and can also lend DVD copies to groups if needed. The video tells real stories, some of which are disturbing and highly emotional. We encourage adults to watch it and use their own discretion in whether or not it is appropriate for the population they wish to share it with."

Video is available to the public on Youtube under the user Lowell Productions.





Lowell Productions


Lowell Productions




00:02:35- Morgan (21 years old): "And I never really used socially, like once I did it, I, like, just didn’t stop. [laughs] I started off with hard drugs and that was it. I was- I was gone."

00:03:53-Morgan: "Well I was kind of exposed to drugs my whole life. Um, my dad was in and out of prison my whole life, and my mom had her own problems, I guess. So I was left home a lot. So I was 13, I started dating this guy, who was a bit older than me, and, uh, he hung out with people older than him, and they were… partying every day, and I kind of just started doing drugs without even really knowing what they were. I stopped for about a year when I was 16, and then I started getting into prescription pills. And I was on them ever since."

00:04:34-Taylor (22 years old): "My addiction started probably when I was 13. I started- the first drug that I used- well, I drank, and, uh, then it went on, I tried smoking weed, and I didn’t like that because it gave me really bad anxiety attacks and everything, so anyways, from that I figured, well, I’ll try something else. I mean, you see all these people that like it and, like, at the time I was being bullied a lot. Uh, my parents ended up splitting up, and, uh, I was hanging out with a bad set of people that were into drugs, uh. I ended up using them, and my very first time trying them—I wasn’t even snorting them—like, I- I shot up my very first time ever trying pills. And I tried ecstasy before that. I should- I forgot to say that too."

00:07:41- Morgan: "I was in academic French Immersion, and, uh, I ended up in general English. I skipped all the time. It took me five years just to graduate high school. Um, I tried home college, and I ended up dropping out and wasted, like, thousands of dollars, so it affected my school very negative. Um, I would lie, like my- my grandparents are a big part of my life and they were kind of naive, so I’d lie and say, “I’m doing this” or “I’m doing that” to get money. And then once I started into the prescription pills, I started stealing all the time and pawned everything I had, and I got caught for stealing and stuff, so… I lost all my- well, my good friends, I guess. Um. I don’t know, then it all turned into drug addicts, but I mean, they’ll rip you off, in two seconds. They’re not really your friends, so… even now, I have, like, now that I’m getting clean, I have, like, nobody right now, so… I just- I hate it. I hate it. I mean, you don’t take care of yourself anymore, and you can’t work. You don’t get along with your family. Like, it’s just bad and you’re so sick, like you can barely get out of bed in the morning. It’s awful. You owe everybody money and, like, I- it’s not nice."

00:09:03- Taylor: "I ended up going out with a guy, and, uh, he was a junkie, and I was hanging out at this fella’s house all the time, so I was watching him shoot up all the time, watching- we [incoherent], watch him go steal to get money and, wait, he’d go get his fix, and I’d just sit there, watch him do it, and be sober the whole time. I was telling him, I said, “I want to try it.” But, uh, you know, my boyfriend said that- that if I ever tried it that he’d break up with me because he couldn’t afford his own addiction let alone, like, let alone support me, right? So, anyways, he [another guy] said, “Oh well don’t worry about him [your boyfriend]. Once I get my welfare check at the end of the month, I’ll shoot you up.” So, anyways, I was quite nervous because I had never tried these. I’d never- I’d never eaten them, like, nothing. And… so, the end of the month came, and I was in school at this point. I was going all day. I, uh, finished school that day, and I went over to this guy’s house, and I was four- f- fifteen at the time, and he was… uh, 36 or 37, I guess. No, yeah, about that. And, anyways, I got there, and I went to the kitchen table [incoherent: once I found a roll of smoke?], and anyways, there’s a little pile of [incoherent] there. And he’s like, “Alright honey, are ya ready?” And I said, “Well, for what?” You know, if I acted dumb because I was so scared, and I mean, I wa- I was scared but I- I wanted to have this, like, ego and everything that, oh well I- I’m not, you know, trying to play it off but I was really petrified. So anyways, he, uh, he got- he bought a new bag of rigs that day, and he got both our shots done up and he done his and he said, “Okay, ya ready?” And I was like, well I don’t know, I’m like, “Maybe I should just try snorting them first” like I don’t know, and he said- he said- he’s like, “Holy shit, well I already have it all done up, and you know, you’re gonna make me waste one of these new one- new rigs,” not that it would have mattered anyways ‘cause he had a whole bag. Anyways but either way, like I said, naive and I just didn’t- I didn’t know what to believe because- and I was- I was scared of him, but at the same time I really like- I think that’s why I kept him so close to me, and I went to visit him every day because, like, I don’t know, strange just how, like, conniving people are. And he just thought, I don’t know, it seems- I feel really stupid for saying how good of a friend I thought he was, and it turns out, like, he was just trying to sucker me into his whole world so that, you know, get me addicted then- and it- he might not even have been truly meaning to do it, like it sh- like subconsciously, like it- it just happens. It’s just the way an addict’s mind works, so, like, you don’t even realize. So anyways, he’s like, after him kind of, you know, getting mad at me, I just first thing stuck out my arm and I said, “Go ahead,” and I turned my head and that’s- he shot me up for the first time then, and I was basically screwed from then on out. I’d done it three more times and then my mom ended up finding out and of course she freaked out. I mean, no wonder, 15-year-old daughter putting needles in her arm."

00:14:13- Sherril (Taylor’s Mother): "Um, the first time that I found out how involved she was was from one of her friends who said she was doing needles. Now, that just about blew me out of the water. Um, she was missing that day, and I found her and confronted her, and we- I just threw her right in the van immed- car immediately. We went to outpatients, actually. Um, I had her checked for everything because I said, like, to me, the whole thing was, you are going to be catching something, you know, we’ve got to get this fixed and it’s gonna be stopped and little did I know that things were a lot worse. But that was the first time we really knew how serious it was. She moved in with a friend’s father who was 20-some years older than her, and from what we found out, one of the summers they went through close to $40,000 worth of money in a couple of months. Um, his wife had shot herself in front of her child the previous year, and… it was all due to pills, so it was just an addiction scene, I guess is the way to describe it. But, uh, yeah, it’s been torturous. It’s been hell. I’d never wish it on my worst enemy, and I… I know I have tons and tons to learn yet, but what I do know scares me to death."

00:16:45- Sherril: "When you watch your child- before she left, the week she left, she jumped out a two-story window of her house- her dad’s house, and I found her down at the corner. She had on a pair of the scruffiest-looking pants I ever saw and an old hoodie lifted up. And she- that was the week we were going to Portage [drug addiction rehabilitation centre], and they had told us we had to detox her at home, so her- I took work off, her father came home, and we sat on her 24/7. No one could leave her. But she ducked to the bedroom. We had to take- [incoherent] we had to take all handles off the windows. We had to, like- she went to the bathroom, we had to stand outside the bathroom. It was a week of hell. We knew the end was coming, but it was a week of hell. But she jumped out. She got down to the corner, and she was hiking to get a pill because she was that sick. Her- her drug of choice was Dilaudid, so it was extreme withdrawals. She, um- her father never saw this before. I had seen some, but she’s standing there, and I stopped the car, said, “You gotta come home,” you know? And when you see your child stand on the side of the road, foaming at the mouth and begging you, just begging you, “Please just let me get one pill. I’ll be better.” It was the most… heartbreaking, most- I’ve- I couldn’t- I can’t even explain the feelings."


Boys and Girls Club of Charlottetown, “Innocence Lost: Stories of Youth Addiction on PEI,” Anti-Stigma Archive, accessed July 13, 2024,