NW Week

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Addiction treatment in the N.W.T. is hampered by a lack of community resources

N.W.T. is hampered by a lack of community resources

Key Takeaways:

  • According to a recent poll by the Department of Health and Social Services, residents in the NWT seeking addiction treatment face hurdles such as shaky social networks and a lack of community services.
  • The survey’s findings were presented to the Standing Committee on Social Development of the Legislative Assembly on Dec. 7.

Its goal was to conduct a study of NWT residents who have sought addiction treatment to improve services.

The biggest impediments to treatment access identified by those polled were a lack of resources in their community and a lack of understanding about the services available to them. For example, there is currently no addiction treatment center in the Northwest Territories.

Sixty-seven percent of those polled stated they would want to see such a facility, with the most popular reasons being a desire to be closer to home and family, as well as a more culturally appropriate program.

Thirty-three percent stated they would prefer a facility outside of the territory. The most prevalent reasons are that they would have more privacy, and recovery would be more accessible outside of their community in the south.

Addiction treatment in the N.W.T.; Image from Yahoo

Although the majority of respondents wished to see an NWT-based treatment facility, Sara Chorostkowski, the department’s head of mental health and addictions recovery, said, “We’re hearing that one single treatment institution might not suit the requirements of all citizens.”

The most popular form of treatment was one-on-one counseling. However, most respondents used more than one service, with 2.5. At least one responder used at least nine different services.

The deficiency of a strong social network and a lack of resources in the respondent’s neighborhood were the most common reasons for relapse among those who relapsed. Similarly, the three most critical aspects in successful recovery were recognized as ties with family, friends, and others in recovery.

“Informal and community-based sources are the key sources that people rely on,” Chorostkowski said.

Several tangible ideas for improving treatment access in the territory were included with the study, including efforts to minimize or eliminate waitlists, long-distance treatment choices for people in remote towns, and housing for those transitioning to a sober lifestyle.

Source: NNSL News

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