Alberta Health Services chief zone officer Janice Stewart, Mayor Tara Veer and representatives from the provincial government cut the ribbon at the new facility for youth using drugs. (Photo contributed)

More help in Red Deer for youth addicted to drugs

New facility for Protection of Children Abusing Drugs (PChAD) program officially opened

Access to a Red Deer addiction program for children and youth will soon increase by 70 per cent with the completion of a new protective safe house.

The $9.1-million, eight-bed facility replaces a temporary five-bed site. The provincial government program has operated in a few Red Deer locations since 2006.

When it opens in the next few weeks, the program will be capable of treating about 170 children and youth annually.

Amy Cote, a care manager with Alberta Health Services, said with the opioid crisis, more children are needing medical supports to deal with their addictions. The new facility is better suited to address more complex cases.

“Addictions don’t discriminate. They’re coming in and really needing that medically supported model,” Cote said.

Kath Hoffman, executive director of Safe Harbour Society, said youth have to be a focus when it comes to addictions.

“I see people every day at Safe Harbour who are 20 and 30 years old in dire need of help. Maybe they wouldn’t have gone so far if we could have helped them sooner,” said Hoffman, whose agency operates Red Deer’s adult detox and a warming centre for the homeless.

“It’s really tough on the families. Back in the olden days, we were worried about our drunk uncles or grandfathers. Now it’s our kids, our young people.”

The provincial program allows parents or guardians of children or youth under age 18 who are abusing alcohol or drugs, to apply to provincial court for an apprehension and a 10-day confinement order for detox and assessment.

The focus of the program is to help children and youth whose substance use has caused, or is likely to cause, significant physical, psychological or social harm to themselves, or physical harm to others, and who are refusing voluntary treatment.

Related:

New youth detox facility under construction in Red Deer

Youth detox centre expands

The expanded program offers assessment, detoxification, addictions counselling, health services and 24-hour care and supervision. The new space has more security and safety for clients and staff, a more home-like environment, and room for family therapy and work with community partners.

The facility’s location cannot be identified to protect the safety, privacy and confidentiality of clients.

The program also operates in Edmonton, Calgary and Grande Prairie. The only site with more beds than Red Deer is in Edmonton, which has nine beds.

As a provincial program, children or youth in the Red Deer area may be sent to another city, depending on the availability of local beds.

Hoffman said she is hopeful the province will also prioritize a much-needed 24-hour homeless shelter that includes an expanded adult detox and other services, such as mental health support. Putting everything under one roof would be cost efficient, she said.

“We’re aching for space. One day last week, during the cold, we had 162 people through the warming centre with two toilets,” said Hoffman about the centre housed in two ATCO trailers in Safe Harbour’s parking lot.

She said there are no other toilets readily available to the city’s homeless.



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Drugsstreet drugs

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, receive flu shot. Photo via Government of Alberta
COVID cases climb in central zone, Red Deer

The total number of active COVID-19 cases in the province reached 3,138… Continue reading

Many rural municipalities were concerned about a proposed reduction to their industrial revenues, but Alberta’s municipal affairs minister has come up with an alternative solution. (Photo contributed)
Energy industry support won’t injure municipalities

Creating new wells or pipelines would result in a three year ‘tax holiday’

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Premier Jason Kenney participated in a livestream on Oct. 17, 2020. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
UCP members pass resolution at AGM calling for privately funded health care option

EDMONTON — Members of Alberta’s governing United Conservative Party have narrowly endorsed… Continue reading

“We weren’t sure what to expect with just doing the 50/50. We have been positively surprised with sales so far,” says Craig Fleming, co-chair of the Red Deer Kinsmen Club’s raffle. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Non-profits put their money on 50/50 draws

COVID impacts fundraising events

Student taking a math test. (Pixabay photo)
David Marsden: Students need more testing, not less

Testing has been central to Alberta’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s… Continue reading

Gillian Robertson celebrates her win over Sarah Frota during UFC 240, in Edmonton, Saturday, July 27, 2019. Robertson used her superior grappling skills to dominate Brazil's Poliano Botelho en route to a unanimous decision win Saturday night on a UFC Fight Night card. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian Gillian (The Savage) Robertson dominates in UFC decision win in Abu Dhabi

Canadian Gillian (The Savage) Robertson dominates in UFC decision win in Abu Dhabi

Forge FC head coach Bobby Smyrniotis, right, hugs captain Kyle Bekker following their victory in the Canadian Premier League soccer final against Cavalry FC in Calgary, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. A month after winning the Island Games in Charlottetown, Hamilton-based Forge FC is back on the move. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CPL champion Forge FC off to El Salvador for CONCACAF League preliminary-round match

CPL champion Forge FC off to El Salvador for CONCACAF League preliminary-round match

Course workers prepare the landing area at the ski jump venue in Whistler Olympic Park in Whistler, B.C. Friday, Feb. 5, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Next generation of Canadian ski talent sets sights on Whistler, B.C., in 2023

Next generation of Canadian ski talent sets sights on Whistler, B.C., in 2023

Mighty Heart is held by groom Siobhan Brown in his stall at trainer Josie Carroll's stable at Woodbine Racetrack, in Toronto, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. The one eyed horse, will run in the $400,000 Breeders' Stakes on October 24, attempting to become Canada's first horse to win the Triple Crown since Wando in 2003. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Rain could present big challenge in Mighty Heart’s quest to capture Triple Crown

Rain could present big challenge in Mighty Heart’s quest to capture Triple Crown

Veteran sniper Evgenii Dadonov excited to join Senators: ‘It’s a perfect fit’

Veteran sniper Evgenii Dadonov excited to join Senators: ‘It’s a perfect fit’

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II (27) gets pushed out of bund by Green Bay Packers free safety Darnell Savage (26) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
Packers seek to bounce back after embarrassing defeat

Packers seek to bounce back after embarrassing defeat

World junior hockey championship opens on Christmas Day for first time since 2005

World junior hockey championship opens on Christmas Day for first time since 2005

Most Read