Safe sober celebrated

The Mount Waddington Health Network's Addiction Services Planning Committee unveiled the result of four years of work.

PORT McNEILL—The Mount Waddington Health Network’s Addiction Services Planning Committee unveiled the result of four years of work last week during a celebratory dinner to recognize completion of a long-sought addiction and recovery service plan for residents of the Mount Waddington region.

Changing Together — A Healing Journey, a comprehensive set of guidelines and recommendations to assist in treatment, recovery and prevention of substance abuse, was presented to 68 participants in attendance at the Community Hall.

Chief Hutch Hunt provided a welcome address and Chief Bill Cranmer added a welcome to attendees, who included representatives of all local first nations as well as the Vancouver Island Health Authority, local government and non-governmental health-care workers.

“The purpose of the meeting was a celebratory dinner for all the communities in the region, highlighting what has been achieved and what is currently being worked on,” said Shirley Ackland, committee member and Port McNeill councillor. “It was the first opportunity since we gathered last January and had a rough draft of the plan.”

The final draft, which Ackland estimated was the “sixth or seventh edition,” was published in September and announced to local community councils, first nations and the Regional District of Mount Waddington.

It notes the establishment of a “safe sober” facility in Port Hardy at the Lighthouse Resource Centre and a regional recovery centre in Alert Bay run by the recently formed Cormorant Island Supportive Recovery Society.

The next step, Ackland said, will be to establish a safe recover centre, preferably in Port McNeill, which is located at the junction of the road and ferry system easily assessable by a number of North Island communities.

“I’m encouraged that we’re moving forward into services and programs to help the North Island,” she said. “Things are really looking up.”

The first steps toward the recovery centres were taken during a meeting Ackland had with Port McNeill-based physicians Granger Avery and Jane Clelland and several other people more than four years ago, after two different people had died in cells while under the influence.

“People looking to sober up didn’t have any option for that except the cells,” she said.

Sean Junglas of the Salvation Army in Port Hardy offered the Lighthouse Resource Centre as a safe sober stop, and Port McNeill Hospital has established a detox centre.

The next step, Ackland said, is a transition treatment and recovery in Port McNeill, ideally a home-type facility with a host, a guidance counsellor, communal kitchen and living room where families could visit clients while they attend work or school in a drug- and alcohol-free environment until they are able to cope independently.

“Most people into addictions don’t choose that life,” Ackland said. “They’re involved because of something that happened in their past.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Port Hardy RCMP investigating drug offences

Both vehicle occupants may face future charges related to the suspected drugs and cash.

Port McNeill’s Barb Drennan named forest technologist of the year

“Her work with the Heiltsuk First Nation is a model for other forest professionals”

Port McNeill council tackles the issue of AirBnBs

Council wants a public hearing to identify options for short-term rentals in Port McNeill.

Port McNeill council roundup: Feb. 11 meeting

Various stories from Port McNeill council’s Feb. 11 meeting.

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

Resident discovers five discarded hog heads in Vancouver Island ditch

WARNING: Graphic image may be upsetting to some readers

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

Most Read