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‘Relapse centre’ in place of addictions centre in NWT?

One solution to the NWT’s lack of addictions supports could be the establishment of a relapse centre.

Rocky Simpson, MLA for Hay River South said a centre that could provide short-term support for people “feel that they may relapse.”

Simpson asked the Health Minister, Julie Green, if the health department could identify a location for a centre “so people don’t have to leave the Northwest Territories when they feel like they’re going to relapse, but where they have a place to go, a safe place to go and get some treatment.”  

Simpson said there should be a location in the south and the north of the territory, so people “have easy access to it.”

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Julie Green pointed to the addictions survey that was just released as a “serious commitment” to the GNWT’s mandate of improving after-care services — care facilities and support programs available after somebody leaves a rehabilitation facility — in the territory.

She added the idea of a relapse centre was promising, and something she would discuss further.

“That’s an interesting idea, and I understand the intent there, to sort of have what they are now calling a ‘circuit breaker’ so that, if somebody has had a slip, rather than going back into a full 28-day treatment program, there would be a shorter and more immediate intervention,” she said.

The addictions survey is part of the GNWT’s effort to gather information on what supports are working, what needs to be strengthened, and any barriers or challenges people may have faced in accessing services.

Green had previously said the GNWT would not be pursuing an addictions support centre, where patients can be admitted into a rehabilitation program to receive treatment for addiction, because it was not sustainable, and residents wouldn’t have access to the same variety of services. 

NWT residents who need addictions support services have to travel south, most often to Alberta.

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