About Guy Felicella

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.

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!

Upcoming events

Press & Media


I cannot stand to see another deadly month go by in British …

Global News

How a B.C. man escaped the Downtown Eastside alive.


BC Moved to Enable an Opioid ‘Safe Supply’ on the Streets.…

BC Medical Journal

Stopping The Spread: Managing Substance Use Disorders Amid S…


Policy Options

Will the new government do more to stop the opioid crisis?

Toronto Star

The year fentanyl hit the street, I died six times. The solution…

CTV Morning Live

How to talk to kids about drugs; the importance of addiction…

From Addiction to Advocate

After spending 20 years homeless battling substance use addiction,…

21st Century Pain Solutions

A podcast on 21st Century Pain Solutions with Dr. Wayne Phimister…

CTV News Vancouver

'Good old boring work' can help addicts.


I died six times... let's stop the stigma of harm reduction |…

CBS Boston

The Boston City Council will hold a public meeting next week…

The Today Show on NBC

Safe injection sites are a radical new approach to battling addiction.…

Georgia Straight

How Insite and Onsite saved a Vancouver drug addict.

Seattle PI

'Can’t save a dead addict;' Voters to decide on injection …

Richmond Sentinel

Learning About The Power Of Compassion, Empathy

CBS Denver

‘The Heroin Fix’: Supervised Injection Facilities Are Lifesavers…

Guy has been featured on these media outlets


”I’ve had the opportunity to witness Guy’s lectures on several occasions over the years and it never ceases to amaze me how he touches the audience with the passion he brings telling his story, keys to being not just a good public speaker, but an excellent one. His ability to frame his story to keep the listener engaged displays professionalism and expertise. Guy is actively engaged with his audience while displaying a strong stage presence.

The knowledge translation that can occur from someone who has lived it cannot be overstated. Guy is able to do what so little can, tell his story, make the listener feel as though they are there living it with him, and provide education during the process. I would not hesitate to recommend him for his speaking talents, and his insight and knowledge into the current addiction crisis we face here in North America.”

Robert L. TanguayProfessor, University of Calgary

“We consistently receive enthusiastic and positive feedback from program participants regarding the practice changing impacts of Guy’s presentations. His contributions in the media and at other public events, as well as in briefings at the municipal and provincial level with elected officials and staff have helped to bring a human face to the issue of problematic substance use. Most recently, he closed out the BCCSU’s first annual provincial conference on substance use and addiction with a standing ovation. He simply is an amazing story teller.”

Cheyenne Johnson & Dr. Perry Kendall Co-Interim Executive Directors, BCCSU

“Guy is an abundantly inspiring colleague and compelling speaker, who has a gift for drawing upon his personal
experiences to educate, motivate, and challenge assumptions about substance use, addiction, recovery and
harm reduction. He has an ability to mobilize his audiences to action by weaving his own journey into powerful
calls for necessary changes within systems, policies and practice”

Miranda ComptonRegional Director, Prevention and Addiction Programs, VCH

“Guy’s wisdom and leadership is an asset to every discussion on harm reduction and substance use, whether he is
addressing a room full of law enforcement professionals, healthcare providers, or families impacted by addiction
and substance use, or a small, focused meeting with policy makers, regulators, peers with lived experience of
substance use. Guy’s presentations bring the perfect balance of a sense of enlightenment, hope, and calls for action that never
fail to resonate with his audiences”

Miranda ComptonRegional Director, Prevention and Addiction Programs, VCH

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