July 21, 2024
$140 million to battle Alberta’s opioid crisis welcomed, but experts say there’s no quick fix
Dr Monty Ghosh, an addictions physician, poses near the Sheldon Chumir Centre in Calgary on Friday, September 13, 2019.
Dr Monty Ghosh, an addictions physician, poses near the Sheldon Chumir Centre in Calgary on Friday, September 13, 2019.

While praising an infusion of provincial funding to treat opioid addictions, those on the front-lines say there’ll be no silver bullet in the daunting task.

Relapse rates of about 60 per cent and even the dangers of recovery will continue to haunt those struggling to defeat their addictions and those helping them, say experts.

“There’s a lot of moving parts, there’s a huge spectrum of services required, but it’s important (the province) is tackling this,” said Dr. Monty Ghosh, an addictions physician who aids clients at various Calgary clinics and social agencies.

What’s vital, said Ghosh and operators of private residential recovery centres, is that addicts have transitional housing leading up to their treatment to ensure they follow through.

“There’s an 80 to 90 per cent relapse level while waiting,” said Ghosh, adding waiting times for treatment can be six to eight months.

“The longer they’re waiting for support, the more likely they are to relapse or die.”

Trevor Loria, president of Simon House, a recovery centre for men, agreed, saying maintaining stronger links with clients is essential.

“Fifty per cent fall off our list or disappear because of the nature of the addiction, they don’t answer the phone or their phone’s turned off,” said Loria, adding the relapse rate for program graduates a year later is about 60 per cent.

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See Also:

(1) Alberta might join B.C. legal action against pharma companies over opioid crisis

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