A new program from Interior Health is giving people with substance abuse disorders another option.
The Intensive Day Treatment Program runs for six weeks, and is available in Vernon, Kelowna, Kamloops and Penticton — communities hardest hit by the overdose crisis.
The program caters to people who know they need help but have busy lives, such as jobs or family demands –that make residential treatment programs not possible.
“We are listening and responding to the needs of people who continue to face substance use challenges in communities across our province,” says Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy. “We know there are many pathways to hope and recovery and we are confident that people in the Interior will benefit from these intensive day treatment programs.”
The first sessions began in June.
“This new program is one element of Interior Health’s Mental Health and Substance Use strategy,” says Interior Health Board Chair Doug Cochrane. “By offering a full range of services including outreach, residential treatment, supportive recovery, and now community-based day treatment, we are combating the ongoing overdose emergency and helping those with substance use disorders reclaim their health.”
In April, IH hired four clinicians with extensive addictions training with the goal of building a robust, standardized and evidence-based treatment curriculum that meets the needs of those with substance use disorders. Curriculum development has included input from IH’s Aboriginal Health team to ensure it meets the needs of Aboriginal people.
The program is funded through the Provincial Overdose Emergency Response.
The Intensive Day Treatment Program runs five days a week in mornings or afternoons, for six weeks. Groups usually include six or seven people who are referred through Interior Health’s Mental Health and Substance Use central intake in the community.
“These are people with any kind of addiction issue,” says Lange. “They may not necessarily have stopped using all substances, but they are ready for change, and they are ready to be present and engaged and working.”
Having recently completed the program in Kamloops, one client called it “absolutely amazing.”
“With the information, skills, and tools learned from the groups, I have been able to overcome these obstacles and feel incredibly lucky, grateful, and very proud,” she says.
For information about the Intensive Day Treatment Program, contact your local IH Mental Health and Substance Use Centre.