Opioid addicts want more recovery services
Support services not readily available in northern Ontario, former addict says
Posted: Jul 27, 2012 11:47 AM ET
Last Updated: Jul 27, 2012 12:00 PM ET
Workers in the addictions field say more people in Sudbury are becoming addicted to opioids, including painkillers like OxyContin and Percocet — and a former addict living in Sudbury said it's hard to get help in the north.
Crystal-Lee Poitras was a crack cocaine and OxyContin addict and said the services she needed to recover were not readily available.Former addict Crystal-Lee Poitras said she wishes more support was readily available to her when she first started looking for help. (Hilary Duff/CBC)
Poitras said she relied on services like a cocaine-anonymous group and a parent outreach program that offered support to mothers at different levels of narcotic addiction.
"There needs to be a lot more public awareness because a lot of suffering addicts are still out there,” Poitras said. “But unless you're brave enough to go into a detox centre, you don't know about these programs."
Poitras is now on methadone maintenance treatment, something that she said has changed her life for the better.
Going beyond drug treatment
Taking methadone is also a recommended treatment for pregnant women who are trying to wean themselves off other drugs.
But these women also need group support, according to Terri Grand-Maison, an addictions outreach counsellor with who deals with pregnant women experiencing substance abuse.
She said a focus group launching in Sudbury this fall is aiming to help pregnant women struggling with opioid drug addictions.
“It's really going to provide us with their point of view,” said Grand-Maison, who works at Iris Addiction Recovery for Women in Sudbury.
“We're going to be asking the consumers basically what their experience has been like and how we can improve what we're doing now."
Grand-Maison said that there is often a stigma attached to pregnant women who are addicted to opioids. She added she hopes this group will help reach the women who may otherwise have been afraid to admit that they had a substance abuse problem.
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