By Susan Cork, Local Journalism Initiative reporter
Addiction Services Central Ontario (ASCO) has partnered with Caritas School of Life and the Krasman Centre to launch a new withdrawal management centre in York Region.
The facility will be funded by Ontario’s Addictions Recovery Fund, which the provincial government established a year ago to meet the surge in demand for high-quality addiction care. The newly launched centre will offer six publicly funded withdrawal management beds along with several additional services to help community members with substance use problems. ASCO has transformed an existing building into a bed-based withdrawal management centre that also provides peer support, counselling, case management, harm reduction, and psychoeducation.
Withdrawal management is a critical service in addiction treatment, as it is the first step toward recovery. It is safely managing withdrawal symptoms when someone stops using drugs or alcohol. Currently, only four publicly funded withdrawal management beds are available in York Region, home to over 1.2 million people. As a result, the new centre will begin to fill a significant gap in addiction treatment services in the area, reducing wait times for residents.
“ASCO, Caritas School of Life and the Krasman Centre take our collective commitment to providing equitable, high quality and effective addiction treatment services very seriously,” said Penny Marrett, executive director of Addiction Services Central Ontario. “We are thrilled to now offer six additional publicly funded withdrawal management beds. We are confident that this new withdrawal management centre will be an important step along the way in the recovery journey of many Ontarians experiencing substance use concerns.”
According to a Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction recent report, the rate of deaths in Canada due to apparent opioids toxicity increased by 91 per cent during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic (from April 2020 to March 2022).
The York Region Withdrawal Management Centre will help to address the shortage of addiction treatment services and reduce wait times for residents seeking help. In addition, it will work to expand the continuum of accessible, publicly funded addiction services in York Region, supporting the Government of Ontario’s priorities of expanding addiction programs and services.
The York Region Withdrawal Management Centre is a much-needed facility that will help to provide essential addiction treatment services to the residents of York Region. With rates of substance use continuing to increase in Ontario and across Canada, the launch of this pilot aligns with the urgent need to expand addiction programs and services, ensuring that the best quality of care is available to those seeking help.