Leamington addicts lack treatment, says clinic leader
'Leamington is really suffering from addictions'
Carly Edwards has been getting high on crack cocaine, oxycodone, fentanyl or any other drug she can find.
The 24-year-old mother from Leamington, Ont. has been suffering from drug addiction ever since she had her first child eight years ago.
She suffers from a host of mental illnesses, including depression and social anxiety. The drugs help her cope.
Edwards has tried to get help, but finding treatment in her community has been impossible.
"There's nowhere to go," she told CBC News, describing her addiction as "hell."
She's not alone. Addicts in Leamington are not getting the treatment they need when they finally decide to seek help, according to the leader of a new clinic opening in the coming weeks.
Roberta Jarecsni expects to serve an estimated 300 clients once she opens the doors of the South Shore Health Centre next month. The facility will offer medical addiction treatment as well as counselling and employment services to patients.
In her current role as clinical leader of the Erie-St. Clair Centre, which provides medical addiction treatment to people throughout the region, she sees the demand for addictions services growing rapidly in Leamington.
"That's the area that really requires enhanced addiction services and better access to them," she said. "Leamington is really suffering from addictions. They are being under-serviced."
The Erie-St. Clair Centre first set up a satellite treatment centre in Leamington several months ago and the demand was identified immediately.
About 60 clients visit the centre already and the demand is growing. That demand does not surprise Edwards. She and her mom, Kathy Edwards, say people need a comprehensive treatment plan.
"Addiction is secondary," Kathy said. "People need to work on everything in their lives. You can't deal with just the addiction."
Most treatment facilities are located in nearby Windsor, Ont. which means people trying to get over addictions have to travel considerably.
Edwards said she would get the help she needs, if services were offered in Leamington.
"The stuff they have in Windsor would be helpful," she said.
Having treatment close to home is an important part of the recovery, Jarecsni explained.
She hopes to have the new treatment centre open in March. The site at 15 John Street is centrally located in the heart of Leamington's downtown.
With files from Amy Dodge