Two new addiction treatment centres will open in Sydney, N.S., next month in response to what officials say is a growing demand for live-in care.
New Horizon Addiction Rehabilitation Centers will have one six-bed facility for women and a separate 12-bed one for men. The private clinics will offer primarily 45-day programs aimed at opioid, alcohol, cocaine and other substance abuse disorders.
Barry McNeil, New Horizon's program manager, worked for many years in addictions for the Cape Breton District Health Authority.
He said there's a big demand for live-in recovery programs, even more so now that the health authority no longer offers detox for opioids.
"Where are these people going to go when they need treatment when you can't go to a detox unit and receive that treatment?" said McNeil.
The Nova Scotia Health Authority said detox beds can be available for some patients. But it said generally, detox alone for opioid abusers has been associated with higher rates of infections such as HIV and hepatitis C, and higher rates of relapse and overdose deaths.
Fulfilling a need
McNeil said he's been working with an opioid recovery program in Sydney that offered methadone and suboxone to treat opioid addictions. That program eventually offered group therapy sessions and relapse prevention, but McNeil said it wasn't enough.
"A lot of people who come to our clinic have very complex issues with housing and relationships and jobs. So evolved our 45-day program in which we hope to address these issues in more depth."
According to the New Horizon website, the 45-day programs will cost more than $20,000: $600 a day for the first 15 days, $500 a day for the following 15 days and $400 a day for the remainder.
McNeil said the prices are comparable or a little lower than other similar programs, adding that a lot of health insurers will cover the cost of treatment — something many people may not know. New Horizon has case managers to help people who are in need of addiction treatment arrange payment, he said.
Other centres substance-free
Late last year, a faith-based organization in Cape Breton announced a live-in recovery centre for women, The Hope Project. That centre is "substance-free," meaning no methadone or suboxone is allowed.
The same is the case at Talbot House in Frenchvale, a long-term recovery house for men.
Treatment options at New Horizon includes the prescribing of methadone or suboxone as well as a "no medication" option.
McNeil said the centres will employ between 30 and 35 people. They're expected to open by March 19.