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!


In-School Addiction Education

Educating our youth on harm reduction, drug policies, prohibition and the stigma that surrounds mental health and addiction is an imperative service that arms our next generation with the tools they need to make informed decisions and understand the realities of the current overdose crisis.

Corporate Speaking

Is your company prepared for an on-site overdose? Is your company culture free of the stigma that attaches to addiction? Educating your employees on harm reduction, drug policies, prohibition and the stigma that surrounds mental health and addiction is an imperative service that creates a safe, non-judgemental working environment. Narcan training for your staff will literally be life or death.

Conferences & Community Events

Sharing my personal experience with addiction, harm reduction, stigma, homelessness and recovery is a benefit to your conference, symposium or community event. Hear accounts from someone who has walked through it and what your community can do to change it.


TEDx Bear Creek Park

Is safe supply a viable option to the overdose crisis?

Global News

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


CTV Morning Live

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

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.…

CBS Denver

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

Guy has been featured on these media outlets


Opinion: A safer drug supply is a regulated drug supply

"If substance use is the health issue that everyone says it is,…

Opinion: When it comes to youth and drugs, straight talk is better than scared straight.

When you give kids the information, they’re appalled by our…

The 2020 Vanmag Power 50

The 2020 Vanmag Power 50 - Power in the time of COVID.

Drug prohibition creates social harms beyond overdoses

“The harder the enforcement, the harder the drugs.”

Treating Addiction Means Treating Trauma

Opinion: Part of the reason treatment failed for me so often…

Drug Policy

Opinion: Drug policy inertia has been driving stigma and overdoses…


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


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…

From Addiction to Advocate

After spending 20 years homeless battling substance use addiction,…

Georgia Straight

How Insite and Onsite saved a Vancouver drug addict.

Richmond Sentinel

Learning About The Power Of Compassion, Empathy


“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.”

“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”

“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”

Guy Felicella has presented to the Delta School District community on the topics of harm reduction and substance addiction prevention.  His leadership and advocacy in the field as well as his genuine compassion enable him to connect with his whole audience – students, staff and families alike.  He has a gift in challenging beliefs surrounding the stigma attached to substance use and addiction through his insights, personal experience and deep knowledge. Guy is a beacon of hope for a better future for all and is a truly impactful leader for harm and stigma reduction.

Past Events

TEDx Bear Creek Park

A shift in thinking - Is safe supply a viable option to the overdose…

Mission Services of London Fall Banquet

Funds raised provide treatment and aftercare for men overcoming…

Hootsuite Media, Inc.

Substance Abuse Seminar

Surrey Christian School

Speaking to the students and parents of Surrey Christian Secondary…

2020 National Mental Health Conference

Keynote Speaker "Surviving Addiction Through A Harm Reduction…


A shift in thinking.

Overdose Dialogue & Training Event Delta

Harris Barn: 4140 Arthur Drive, Delta, BC. 6:00-8:00pm.

Delta School District

Addiction Education to students.

Musqueam Harm Reduction Conference

Keynote speaker at the Musqueam Harm Reduction Conference.

Correctional Services Canada and Health Canada Roundtable Discussion Ottawa

To seek advice, views and perspectives in order to better inform…

University of the Fraser Valley

Addiction education - speaking to students about the realities…

Burnaby School District

Speaking to students about the realities of addiction and how…

Western Canada Addiction Forum

Speaking at the 6th annual forum in Kelowna about how human connection…

Musqueam Cultural Centre

Speaking to youth about the impacts of addiction, the education…

Simon Fraser University

Speaking to a criminology class on gangs, addiction and harm…


Speaking to students in the social work program about addiction,…

Burnaby School District Lunch and Learn

This panel discussion including guests from Fraser Health, Odyssey…

Burnaby Youth Summit

Speaking an inspiring message to youth age 14-19 on harm reduction…

Health Canada Opioid Symposium

Speaking on removing the stigma of harm reduction to federal,…

TEDx White Rock

Let’s remove the stigma of harm-reduction and save lives.


Send an email to Guy.