Winnipeg woman says she's desperate for addictions help

A Winnipeg woman said she's terrified that if she doesn't get help for her drug addiction, she might overdose and die.

Destiny Bohemier says long-term drug treatment is her only hope to get clean

Winnipeg woman says she's desperate for addictions help

7 years ago
Duration 2:11
Destiny Bohemier says she's terrified that if she doesn't get help for her drug addiction, she might overdose and die.

A Winnipeg woman said she's terrified that if she doesn't get help for her drug addiction, she might overdose and die.

For more than a decade, Destiny Bohemier said she has been abusing countless drugs, starting with marijuana and cocaine in her early teens, to more recently taking fentanyl, morphine and other prescription drugs.

The 25-year-old wants to get into a long-term treatment program, but she said help is taking days and she can't afford a private facility.

"I just feel like I've lost that control," said Bohemier. "If I see it, I have to use it. I just feel like I can't do it anymore by myself. I can't say no anymore."

Bohemier's case raises questions about how quickly a person can access provincially funded addictions services in Manitoba and what options are available for those who can't afford the cost of private recovery centres.

Her battle with addiction has been long and complex.

She said she took her first sip of alcohol at age 11. She started experimenting with drugs at the age of 12, and by 14, she had tried cocaine.

"I used crack, cocaine, meth, ecstasy, heroin, acid, 'shrooms. I've used everything you can think of," she said.

An eating disorder in her past has added to her struggle. Bohemier said it was when she was about 70 pounds and being treated in hospital that her addiction to pills escalated.

"They had me on a 24-hour pain medication infusion, so it wasn't really until then that I got into the pain medication," she said.

Spent weeks in hospital

Bohemier said she recently spent weeks in a Winnipeg hospital following a suicide attempt. She signed herself out last week.

"I was getting so much worse in there," said Bohemier. "I just couldn't take it in there anymore."

She said she has overdosed three times since August, but she is now ready to get help.

"It's been really hard," said Bohemier. "It's scary because I know that I could die at any minute. It's hard being alone, sitting at home every night by myself."

Bohemier feels that along with getting into a detox unit, a long-term residential recovery program that can offer a continuum of care for more than 28 days is her only hope to fight her addiction.

She said she has tried several programs offered by the province, including provincially funded residential programs, but they haven't worked for her.

"They just scratch the surface," said Bohemier. "They don't deal with the deep-seated issues that are going on."

Bohemier would like to be able to be able to attend a private addictions recovery program, but she said they can cost thousands of dollars and she doesn't have the money. 

Province says wait for treatment can be weeks 

The provincial government said it can't comment on specific cases.

However, a spokesperson for the province said while situations are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, the wait time for a detox bed can be days and wait time for treatment can be weeks.

The province added that typically, Manitoba Health, Healthy Living and Seniors does not provide coverage for addictions treatment in private treatment facilities. A person can go to the Main Street Project 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to connect with a crisis worker and be in a safe place with supports until an addictions service intake can occur.

Bohemier said she has been in contact with the province and plans to get assessed at a Winnipeg hospital on Tuesday to find out what kind of detox she needs and if she will have to wait for a bed.

Bohemier's friends have started a GoFundMe page to help raise money to cover the costs of attending a private addictions facility.

"I'm just trying to do anything I can because I need treatment so bad," she said.