Dr. Mel Vincent is director of psychiatry for the Edgewood Health Network in Nanaimo.

Seeking help for opioid addiction: reaching out in Nanaimo

Edgewood Health Network part of a multi-faceted approach to treatment and recovery

The opioid crisis in B.C., including in hard-hit communities on Vancouver Island, has made headlines across the country.

Here in Nanaimo, dedicated individuals, groups and treatment centres such as the Edgewood Health Network are working to help those suffering from drug addiction and help families avoid the grief that comes with the death of a loved one to substance abuse.

Many people battling addiction to opiates – they can include friends, family, co-workers – have yet to reach out for help, says Dr. Mel Vincent, director of psychiatry at Edgewood. Opioid addiction can be a trap, he adds: a person’s life may be falling apart, the risk of accidental overdose is very real and they fear the withdrawal that comes with quitting drug use.

A 2018 B.C. Centre on Substance Use study found the top reasons given for starting recovery were to improve one’s quality of life, and improve their mental/emotional health. As such, there’s no reason to wait until someone “hits bottom” before entering treatment and recovery, Dr. Vincent says. “We need to raise the bottom rather than waiting for them to get into some desperate state.”

Care option package is broadening

The presence of deadly fentanyl has been a game-changer that required a change of strategy for Edgewood and others in the recovery field, Dr. Vincent says. The Network has worked hard to reach out to other groups and health-care professionals to create a broad, multi-disciplinary care package that incorporates best practices.

Edgewood’s approaches include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Therapy (DBT) and medication-assisted therapies such as naltrexone, Suboxone and methadone maintenance, in combination with the more traditional approaches such as the 12-step programs offered by Narcotics Anonymous and AA.

Whether you or your loved ones’ addiction to opioids involves heroin/fentanyl, or prescription painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin or morphine – or developed through using street drugs or medications to numb chronic physical pain – Edgewood and its partners are addressing the causes and effects of each.

Many people taking action to get healthy

There are various opportunities and ways for you to ask for help. Many people in Nanaimo have joined community groups such as NA and AA, begun medication-assisted programs with methadone or Suboxone, frequented safe using sites and/or enrolled in treatment at Edgewood. The Network provides a range of options, from assessment and intensive programs for outpatients, to full inpatient residential treatment and aftercare programs.

“There is hope, despite the alarming number of deaths, but we have to work in a collaborative, co-operative way,” Dr. Vincent says. “There are very dedicated people in Nanaimo working with those in addiction. And many people are doing well in recovery, but we need the people who are still using to seek the help they need. There needs to be that availability of resources for them.”

*****

For more information on Edgewood and its programs, including bursary options, click on this link, call 250-751-0111 or email info@edgewood.ca. You can also follow them on Facebook.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Nanaimo Ladysmith school district will seek input on strategic plan

Stated goals include reconciliation and environmental stewardship

Regional District of Nanaimo creating strategic plan for parks and trails

RDN manages more than 200 community and regional parks

Man suffers burns, dog dies in fire in Nanaimo

Structure burns down on Clifford Road property in Cedar

City of Nanaimo urging extreme caution in parks during fire season

Smoking, campfires, barbecues not allowed in city parks, users should be aware of fire hazards

First cruise ship of the season docks in Nanaimo

Silversea’s Silver Muse makes port call

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Improving transit will make a difference in a climate emergency

Transit helps take cars off the road, ease congestion and improve air quality, says letter writer

Most Read