Group petitions province to provide medically-assisted detox
Published Wednesday, April 17, 2019 6:45AM CST
A group of people affected by addictions is advocating for better treatment for people seeking medical care.
They’re circulating a petition asking the province for medically-assisted detox so more people can get clean in a safe way and be eligible for treatment.
Rebecca Rummery’s boyfriend died from an overdose at 26.
She said the day he was taken to hospital was the day there was an open spot for him at a treatment centre.
“I mean the fact that 24 hours it could've changed someone's life, and I think that just shows, you know, you have a wait list and people are literally dying while waiting for a space to become available,” she said.
Rummery joined forces with Arlene Last-Kolb, the co-founder of Overdose Awareness Manitoba.
Last-Kolb lost her son Jessie to Fentanyl poisoning five years ago and has been advocating for better addictions treatment since then.
"We saw the move from opiates into meth, now opiates are still there it's still killing people, but meth is obviously on the rise," she said.
The group is unsatisfied with the province’s steps so far.
In 2018, the province announced it would open five rapid access to addictions medicine clinics and additional mental health and treatment beds.
But Overdose Awareness Manitoba is petitioning the government for more.
"We are asking for medically assisted detox with long term treatment and ongoing supports,” Last-Kolb said.
On Tuesday, health minister Cameron Friesen announced mental health and addictions services will benefit from new federal-provincial health accord.
"What this funding can do is not only accommodate these additional measures we've made, but we can also build on those same types of measures,” he said.
Volunteers are gathering signatures of support in Winnipeg and Brandon and are hoping to get a few thousand before presenting it to government officials.
Rummery said supervised detox will help more people take the first step towards getting treatment in a safe place.
- With files from CTV's Michelle Gerwing