Crystal meth addict faces long wait list at Winnipeg rehab centres
A Winnipeg woman's battle to beat her addiction to crystal meth is challenged by months of having to wait for a spot at one of three residential drug treatment centres for women in Winnipeg.
Kara Evans, 22, took her first hit of the highly addictive drug when she was 12 years old. She currently wants treatment, but it has been extremely difficult to get it.
"I try to be happy, but I'm just not," she told CBC News on Wednesday.
Her mother, Karen Evans, says she's been calling residential drug treatment centres in Winnipeg, but she's been getting the same answer to date.
"We've been told she's going to be in in two weeks … it's now three months later. She's been on the waiting list for seven months."
Of the three residential treatment centres for women in Winnipeg, each has a wait list of about 50 women. The facilities quote the wait times as being between seven and 100 days.
Addicts who are pregnant get first priority, and wait times vary because two of the facilities allow open-ended stays.
'Come back in 2 weeks'
Karen Evans said she cannot afford private treatment. In the meantime, Kara has received initial assessments from the treatment centres.
"They give her the same pamphlets, you know, with, 'Here, you can go to the mobile crisis unit, here's the suicide hotline,' and they make her leave with that and come back in two weeks," she said.
"Well, that's not going to help her. What do you think she's doing for two weeks?"
Her routine mainly involves sleeping and disappearing for days on end to use crystal meth, while her mother worries and waits.
"I don't sleep well at all," said Karen Evans.
"As soon as you wake up — your eyes open at 1 in the morning, 2 in the morning — you're up, your stomach's in your throat. I've cried so many tears."
Karen Evans said the system is failing her daughter, and she fears losing Kara before the call from a rehab centre finally comes in.
"That crystal meth, when it gets you, it just takes you — who you really are inside — and I would really love everybody to see Kara as Kara. My Kara," she said.
"When Kara is Kara, she is brilliant, she's beautiful and she's compassionate."