72 minutes | May 13, 2021

Guy Felicella | From Homeless Heroin Addict Living on the Streets of Vancouver to TEDx Talk Motivational Speaker Working with Vancouver Coastal Health.

In his youth, Guy Felicella had a typical upbringing with a middle-class family.  He wasn’t diagnosed in school at the time but was diagnosed later in life with ADHD and a mild comprehension disorder.  To compound this, he also suffered verbal abuse from his family and classmates.  This is when he started using drugs at the age of 12 years old, and says now that if he didn’t at the time, he probably would have ended his life. Guy’s problematic addiction started 20 years ago, where he found himself involved with gangs, living on the streets of Vancouver, sleeping on cardboard, and moving from vacant houses and doorways to stay warm.  He would find himself in prison serving 35 days and coming out still in the detox process.  He says in prison they would give you valium for alcoholism, but nothing but Gatorade and Tylenol for heroin addiction.  He hopes this can be addressed because, for him & other heroin addicts, it creates more addicts without the proper treatment.  After in & out of prison and relapsing multiple times, he had the realization that the same drugs that he thought saved his life, were now the drugs that were ending his life.  He had a tough time coming to terms with that fact but eventually got to the point of wanting to start the recovery process. With his own addiction, Guy relapsed multiple times.  It was not a quick and easy path for his recovery.  He realized instead of beating himself up about relapsing, he would encourage himself to get back up & try it again, until something worked.  This led to his interest & exploration of Harm Reduction.  Guy says that Harm Reduction is an approach where you meet with the addict in controlled environments, and allow access to safe alternatives to the illicit drugs they are currently using.  He says this was instrumental in his own recovery process, keeping him alive long enough to find his own path to recovery. Besides this, Guy needed to focus on the underlying trauma that was at the root of his drug use.  He says we focus too much on judging and treating drug addiction instead of investigating and healing our past traumas.  EMDR therapy was really instrumental in his recovery.  It is a rapid eye movement therapy, to repair the coping skills in your mind to deal with past traumas.  These traumas are the roots of drug use, so if people can focus there first, the healing process should be more effective & better all around.  This was the key to his lasting recovery and wants to share what he’s learned with as many people as he can. Currently, Guy is involved with the Protentional Overdose Emergency Response Center, Vancouver Coastal Health, the B.C. Center on Substance Use, and has his own company where he speaks with high school students, college students & more, focusing on Harm Reduction & Recovery Initiatives.  He now has a Wife of 8 years and three beautiful kids.  His biggest passion is speaking with youth, even on TEDx Talk stages, relating to them on a personal level that he hopes will change their lives for the better. This is Guy Felicella in his own words, on Knockin’ Doorz Down. For Carlos Vieira's autobiography Knockin' Doorz Down https://www.kddmediacompany.com/ For 51FIFTY use the discount code KDD20 for 20% off! https://51fiftyltm.com/ https://www.facebook.com/51FIFTYLTM https://www.instagram.com/51fiftyltm/ https://twitter.com/51fiftyltm For Manscaped use the code KDD for 20% of at https://www.manscaped.com/ For more on the Knockin' Doorz Down podcast and to follow us on social media https://www.kddmediacompany.com/podcast https://www.instagram.com/knockindoorzdown/ https://www.facebook.com/knockingdoorsdown/ https://twitter.com/kddmediacompany https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUSJ5ooBFqso8lfFiiIM-5g/  For more information on the Carlos Vieira Foundation and the Race 2B Drug-Free, Race to End the Stigma and Race For Autism programs visit: https://www.carlosvieirafoundation.org/ https://www.facebook.com/CVFoundation/ https://www.instagram.com/carlosvieirafoundation/ For more on Guy Felicella http://guyfelicella.com/ https://www.facebook.com/gfelicella/ https://www.instagram.com/felicellaconsulting/ https://twitter.com/guyfelicella/
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