The Chief Medical Officer of British Columbia argues that Canada’s current approach to helping struggling addicts find recovery is disconnected. Perry Kendall argues that the little system Canada has in place is not sufficient to helping guarantee the lives of addicts in recovery. After hospitalization and withdrawal from opioids, the body is especially vulnerable to cravings and relapse. Patients are released from hospitals without any support or structure to survive with the life threatening illness of addiction. This, Kendall argues, is problematic. When people relapse after detox, their body loses the tolerance level it built up during active using. Having a low tolerance, but not knowing about having a low tolerance, equates to overdose. Going back out into the streets and using the same amount of opioids as when there was a high tolerance, is fatal.
Rather than a series of disjointed efforts, Kendall feels there should be more steps to take than detox. Canada is full of treatment centers providing as many people as possible with the residential care they need. Continuing care programs like intensive outpatient and outpatient are also widely available. However, the Canadian government has done little to coordinate getting a patient from one level of care to the next. Coordination, Kendall argues, is essential to recovery.
With more coordination and cooperation from multiple working parts of Canada’s treatment system, patients have a better chance at long term care which is rapidly being proven to be most effective.
Opioids have taken record breaking amounts of lives in Canada with over 900 overdoses in British Columbia. Fentanyl, the powerful synthetic opioid, has spread its way across Canada in the last two years, causing more problems.
Part of the issue, Kendall explains, is stigma and shame which surround addiction. Though Canada is one of the more progressive countries in its fight against opioid addiction, it is still shrouded by shame and stigma regarding the disease of addiction. Shunning addicts into sobriety is not sustainable. Encouraging addicts to make healthy decisions to save their own lives works more effectively.
Aurora Recovery Centre stands as a shining light to Canadians in need of opioid treatment. Let us help you along the pathway to recovery. From detox services to sober living, we provide a continuum of residential care to help you find recovery. For more information, call 844-515-STOP.