Interior Health announces new 'compassionate' substance abuse treatment | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Interior Health announces new 'compassionate' substance abuse treatment

March 11, 2021 - 10:58 AM

Interior Health is expanding a substance use treatment program with a new method designed to focus on compassion, dignity and respect.

Substance use treatment teams have been trained over the winter and are now ready to start seeing clients in the Penticton, West Kelowna and Kamloops, along with the Enderby and Salmon Arm areas, according to an Interior Health news release.

“This is a brand new team and a new approach,” Lindsay Coughlin, a member of the Integrated Treatment Team for West Kelowna, said. “We provide more flexible, discreet treatment options for those who haven’t reached out before, including clients at risk of overdose or those who have significant substance use issues.”

Interior Heath said the model is flexible to accommodate people unable to go to through inpatient or outpatient treatment programs for a variety of reasons including work schedules, lack of transportation or lack of childcare.

“Stigma drives people to use alone and that isolation has been disastrous with the overdose crisis and the pandemic combined,” Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions said in the release. “Embedding these new multidisciplinary teams in communities will provide a clear a path for people to access the health care they need and to be seen with dignity, compassion, and respect.”

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