Biography: Robb McGirr
Robb is a certified addictions counselor, specializing in substance abuse education and early intervention for youth and families. He is currently retired after having served twenty-eight years as a police officer, and supervisor in several municipal police departments in the metropolitan Vancouver area.
He is a member of the Canadian Society of Counselors and Therapists, and Family Mediation Canada.
His expertise in drugs started as a specialized drug investigator, and an undercover drug operator. His work as an undercover investigator throughout the greater Vancouver and Victoria regions, provided the opportunity to see first -hand the dynamics of drug abuse and addiction.
Robb has been utilized as a resource instructor for drug investigations and drug trends training programs at the BC Justice Institute. He was qualified by the BC Supreme Court in 1982, as an expert in the areas of drug trafficking, teen drug trends, and related at-risk youth issues. Since then he has been called upon to provide his expert opinion in over three hundred criminal and civil cases.
For the last twenty years, Robb has focused on the area of teen drug trends. His recognition of the benefits of prevention and early-intervention of drug abuse has motivated him to develop, and support a number of community, and school-based drug response strategies. He has provided his expertise in community prevention and intervention strategies to various communities in BC and Alberta.
In 1998 – 99, he was involved in developing and initiating a community response strategy to cope with the dramatic increase in teen heroin use. His efforts in this area resulted in his receiving the BC Lieutenant Governors award for meritorious service. He has also received a variety of professional commendations, and community awards for his work in prevention and intervention of drug abuse, and youth violence.
On his retirement from policing in 2003, Robb enhanced his clinical experience by working in a community addiction clinic as a school-based prevention coordinator and counselor. As well, he has continued to travel throughout the province providing training programs and workshops on both school-and community-based education/early-intervention strategies for youth. These workshops and presentations have been provided for youth, parents, teaching professionals, as well as addiction and mental health specialists.
Robb currently offers his services as a resource instructor in “understanding, and responding to youth addictions”, for graduate counseling programs at UBC and Trinty Western Universities. Over the last eight years he has developed and refined a new counseling and support strategy for drug-dependent teens that are in denial.
He has authored two books, “Teen Drug Trends” a parents guide to understanding and responding to teen drug use, and “Thru Your Own Eyes”, a self-assessment guide for drug-active teens. To date, there have been over thirty-five thousand copies distributed province-wide. As well he has developed and co-produced an innovative thirty-minute film documentary designed as a school prevention tool called “Rewind…a film about choices”
Robb now divides his time working in the Surrey School District Safe-School program as a school-based substance abuse educator and counselor, and continues to present province-wide workshops, and training programs onsubstance use prevention and early intervention programs for drug-active youth.
Front-Line Prevention Services
The following is a sampling of some of the organizations, agencies and groups that Robb has been called upon to provide educational, training, and staff development Seminars or Workshops.
- Coquitlam District 43 School District (Student education, staff training, parent education)
- Coquitlam / Port Moody Parent Teachers Association (Parent education)
- School District 36 (Surrey) Student counseling, Parent education, Staff development
- School District 67 (Okanagan Skaha) Student education, Staff Training, Program development
- School District 23 (Kelowna) Student education, Parent Education, Program development
- School District 43 B.C. Teachers Federation professional development program (staff training)
- School District 42 (Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows) Student counseling, parent education, program delivery
- School District 35 (Langley) staff training
- Maple Ridge RCMP (staff training)
- Port Moody/Coquitlam/Port Coquitlam Parent Counseling Groups (parent education)
- Trinity Western University (Resource Instructor, Masters program Counseling Psychology)
- S.H.A.R.E. Family & Teen Addictions Services (Resource presenter)
- School District 43 Alternate Education Students Group (high-risk youth education, assessment, counseling)
- Ministry of Child and Family Development (staff training)
- BC First Nations Parents Association provincial conference 2004 – 2008, 2010 (First Nations parents education)
- Awareness provincial Employee assistance programs (1999 – 2001) (parent education)
- City of Prince Rupert Community drug-response strategy (2000) (community education, staff training)
- Lake Babine First Nations (community education)
- G.F. Strong Rehabilitation center (Vancouver Health Sciences) Neuro-surgical staff (staff training)
- Municipality of Hinton, Alberta community drug awareness program (2001) (community education)
- Kamloops Regional Drug conference (Community, First Nations education)
- Parents Together Society (Burnaby & Coquitlam chapters) (parent education)
- Surrey Fire Department (Employment assistance program) (family education)
- BC Police Victim Services Association Provincial Conferences (staff training) 1995 – 2008
- BC Crime prevention Association Provincial Conferences (staff training)
- Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce (community education)
- Abbotsford Fire Department (staff & family education)
- BC Justice Institute (Police Academy) (police training)
- Victoria sub-division RCMP (police training)
- Fraser Health Authority (staff training)
- Tri-Cities Nights Alive youth program (staff training)
- Fraser Burrard Youth Restorative Justice program (staff training)
- BC Corrections (North Fraser Pre-Trail correctional center) (staff training)
- Eagle Ridge Hospital family services program (parent education)
- Port Moody Police Victim Services (Staff training)
- School District 35 (Langley) (staff training)
- Tri-Cities Crystal Meth Forum (community education)
- Maple Ridge Crystal Meth Forum (community education)
- Vancouver Information Services (BC Provincial Youth Crisis line ) (staff training)
- Maple Ridge Treatment Center (staff training)
- Maple Ridge Public Health Service (staff training)
- Bowman Youth employment services (youth education, counseling)
- Terrace Drug Awareness conference (community education)
- Atlas youth Residential treatment center (youth counseling, staff training)
- Alouette Addictions Services (counseling, education, staff training)
- Northwest Addictions Services (staff training)
- Canadian Border Service Agency (staff training)
- Maple Ridge Crystal Meth Task Force (community education)
- St Johns Ambulance (Port Moody) (staff training)
- Village of Thasis (community education, student education, staff training)