Finding the right path to recovery from a meth addiction can be long and difficult.

A Winnipeg woman shared her experience with CTV Winnipeg and how she navigated the system.

Amanda Houle, 34, struggled with an alcohol and marijuana addiction, then turned to meth.

"You're able to not worry about starving, not to worry about being homeless on the streets,” said Houle.

In the summer of 2017, Houle wanted to get help.

She went to emergency at Health Sciences Centre.

Houle said a doctor gave her a medical clearance to get her into a detox bed at Main Street Project within 48 hours, but she couldn't get in.

"I called at 8 a.m., no beds. Call us back tomorrow. I called back, no beds,” she said.

Houle said she relapsed, then went back to the hospital the next month. This time given a medical clearance for three days.

She said she got a detox bed, but that getting help shouldn't require having to wait.

“As an addict you want to use more before you get this hope, and that's how it was. I want to walk in there clear minded. The willingness to want to change is the biggest part,” she said.

Houle says she got into a treatment centre a couple months later.

She's had some setbacks, and has been sober for 60 days.

Houle said being sick of the depression and insanity that came with her addiction motivated her to get better, and hopes her experience helps others.

“This is the clearest minded I’ve ever been … Now that I’m loving myself more I can be more attending to my addiction,” Houle said.


Dr. Ginette Poulin with the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba said a medical clearance is a paper that says the patient is safe to go through detox without medical supervision.

She said it’s normally valid for 72 hours and can be made for longer.

Rick Lees of Main Street Project said for the most part meth users being able to access detox has largely improved.

He said the number of their beds has increased from 42 to 60 and access is 24 hours. 

He said when someone decides they want help time is of the essence and the emergency room is a good place to go. 

Rapid Access to Addictions Medicine Clinics (RAAM Clinics) can help people get advice, counseling, medication, and support.

 Main Street Project said RAAM clinics can direct people to a detox bed.