By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
Lethbridge County will be home to one of the province’s new recovery communities for addiction treatment.
The recovery community was one of two announced last month, and will house 50 new beds, with the other being located on the Blood Tribe First Nation, which will see 75 new beds.
“This is a welcome announcement for our region. Increasing capacity will reduce barriers to treatment and provide improved access to recovery supports for people in southern Alberta who are experiencing addiction. These additional resources are needed and will benefit the entire community,” said Lorne Hickey, reeve of Lethbridge County.
The Foothills Centre in Fort Macleod will received sixteen new publicly-funded medical detox and transition beds, and 15 publicly-funded medical detox and transition beds will be added in the City of Lethbridge to help increase access to recovery supports for those struggling with addiction in southern Alberta.
“These two recovery communities will bring 125 much-needed beds to southern Alberta. In addition, new publicly funded detox spaces means that Albertans struggling with addiction can access a range of services in southern Alberta. The time has come for the full continuum of care to be available for all Albertans,” said Jason Luan, associate minister of mental health and addictions.
In July, the Albertan government had previously announced that they would be building five recovery communities for mental health and addition treatment, which would add 400 treatment beds, an increase of 30 per cent. $25 million was pledged for their construction as part of Alberta’s Economic Recovery Plan.
Recovery communities, also know as therapeutic communities, are a type of long-term residential treatment for addiction and are used in more than 65 countries around the world. Recovery at these places is viewed as a gradual, ongoing process of cognitive change through clinical and peer interventions, and participants advance through the stages of treatment at their own pace, setting personal objectives and assuming greater responsibilities in the community along the way, with the eventual goal for the participant to leave the program drug-free and employed, in school or training.
“This is a historic expansion of recovery-oriented services for people suffering from addiction in southern Alberta. Not only are we creating jobs by investing in key infrastructure projects as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan, but we are continuing to expand access to treatment and recovery for everybody in Alberta,” said Premier Jason Kenney.
“Mental health and addiction services are extremely important to the overall well-being of Albertans, especially in times like these. These recovery communities, along with the increased detox capacities, will be a great and better-suited treatment resource for our communities in Cardston-Siksika and all of southern Alberta,” said Joseph Schow, MLA for Cardston-Siksika.
Approximately 400 people will be employed during the construction of the five recovery communities and when operational, each recovery community will employ 35-50 people.
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