The City of Quesnel continues to do its part to tackle what the Mayor calls the fentanyl poisoning crisis
Bob Simpson says they have co-funded an initiative, along with northern Health and BC Housing, called Community Caring for People with Addictions for the past two years.
He says the committee has come up with a strategy and is now in the implementation stage of that strategy, including hiring peer resources…
“We’re now in the process of hiring peer resources, so these are individuals who have come off the street or who are former addicts and some of them are still managing their addiction, to help us go out onto the street to find out from individuals who are involved in the drug situation we’re experiencing right now, to make sure that the resources we’re building work for them.”
Simpson says peers have the ability to relate to the people they are trying to help and they will also be trusted.
He says they have used a provincial grant to hire a Coordinator to help to implement the strategy as well.
Simpson says the Committee has already done a lot as well…
“There have been substantive changes to the delivery of the methadone clinic. That has moved out of Seasons House into Grace Young. It actually is working better across the board for the client group, it is also being delivered in a more timely manner for people who are in the midst of a crisis so that change has been made. We’ve already seen an increase in resources in the field of psychiatry and some clinicians added. The Urgent Primary Care Clinic is, of course, part of helping us with people who are struggling.”
Simpson says they also talk a lot about stopping the cycle…
“It’s one thing to do triage on the individuals who have addictions just now that put them at risk. It’s a whole other thing to start to bring to bear resources that we need to prevent this from being our future as well, so working with the School District to make sure that kids are getting their needs met, working with families to do more family intervention, having more psychiatry and psychology assistance to help people to avoid addictions.”
Simpson says they have to find ways to stop some of the trauma and some of the life experiences that lead to people going into addictions.
He says some of the medical practice of using opioids for pain treatment, using opioids post surgery etc, is changing, and he feels fewer people will fall into addictions because of misuse of opioids as a treatment.