Sask. mother calling for detox, treatment centre capacity increases amid COVID-19

REGINA — A Saskatchewan mother is among others calling for detox and inpatient addiction treatment centres to increase capacity, to support those who are struggling with addiction.

Ronni Nordal’s son Andrew was addicted to substances for ten years. Andrew is now sober.

“I had a child who I loved who stole from me, lied to me, used in my house, committed crimes all because he has an illness and that’s the illness of addiction,” Nordal said.”

Nordal said her son went into inpatient addiction treatment centres in Saskatchewan three times and she lost count the amount of times he went into detox.

Eventually the family took him to a private treatment centre in B.C. where he finally found recovery.

Nordal said she can’t image what families are going through right now since the capacities of detox and inpatient addiction treatment centres were lowered to adhere to the physical distancing guidelines of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Right now, individuals are calling and being told if you live in Saskatchewan, unless you have the bank account that allows you to pay for private treatment, you don’t have an option,” Nordal said. “That’s concerning.”

Detox and inpatient addiction treatment centres capacities will increase in phase three of the Saskatchewan Health Authority’s (SHA) resumption plan for medical services. The SHA has not given a date for when its phase three will take place.

“In Regina and Saskatoon, most programs remained in place, though delivery of care may have been different depending on the service,” the SHA said in a statement.

During the months of March and April, there were 628 overdoses in the province reported to the Ministry of Health.

Jonathan Shepherd has been recovered from his addiction for 12 years.

He said even he has been finding the last few months trying. Shepherd would like to see more beds available for those who need support of detox and inpatient addiction treatment centres.

“To go to a treatment centre and be refused, to go to a detox centre and be refused, for some people in their mind that’s their final hope and when they get turned back its heartbreaking,” Shepherd said.

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