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Waiting List for Alberta Drug Rehab Centers

Are there waiting lists for substance abuse treatment in Alberta?

Yes, there will be waiting lists or wait times for the publicly funded drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs in the province, but with the private sector, there will often be no wait times or wait lists and treatment can happen right away. Private drug and alcohol treatment programs in Alberta do operate differently than within the public sector. It is vitally important for families to never rule out private drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Private drug treatment centers will always have different financial options that a family or addict can look at to help pay for treatment. Families and addicts tend to get frustrated when they hear the price for a private drug and alcohol treatment program. It is important to look at the big picture, ask questions about how this can be paid, such as; will me health insurance help pay for it, are there payment plans or installments that can be made, is there outside financing that can be gotten to help? Private drug and alcohol treatment can be just as successful as the private sector, and there will often be no wait times or waitlists, and beds are available. The average wait time for public substance abuse treatment services in Alberta is around 15 to 17 days, and unfortunately, this can be hard for addicts and families, and with the current opioid epidemic, it can mean life or death. Alberta Health Services is the ministry that is responsible for addiction treatment services in the province, and it does directly provide drug addiction treatment services and offer's community contracted services, and some parts of the province do have additional addiction programs they work with.

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DRS femme2

How does a wait list or wait time work in Alberta?

Alberta Health Services is committed to reducing the harm that is caused by drugs and alcohol and ensuring that the availability for addiction treatment services, prevention, and educational information is there for everyone. Unfortunately, there are still many Albertans stuck on waitlists, or having to call drug addiction treatment centers daily to see if a bed or spot is available. Much of the problem with waitlists and wait times for substance abuse treatment is within the publicly funded sector, but this is because of the amount of funded and limited beds available to help the growing need of people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. When an addict is wanting help within the public sector, they will have to either go through Alberta Health Services, find what programs are available, or contact these services directly, and some addicts even get referrals from family doctors. Within the private drug and alcohol treatment sector in Alberta, admittance into the program can usually happen right away, and each private drug treatment center in the province does operate differently from the next.

The Current Situation in Alberta with Who is Seeking Treatment

Between 2014 and 2015, there were roughly 30,000 unique individuals who accessed publicly funded addiction treatment through Alberta Health Services. Most people who are seeking help through Alberta Health Services are male with over 60 percent and roughly over 30 percent was female, with the addicts themselves primarily reaching for help. Throughout Alberta are many different types of substance abuse treatment programs, such as inpatient, outpatient, and detox services, which does encompass mental health services and counseling or therapy programs. Most people seeking help for substance abuse in Alberta are contacting non-residential addiction treatment services, the second most requests were for residential withdrawal management, and thirdly was an actual residential drug rehab center. Each public drug addiction treatment program will have a different wait time, and this can be frustrating for a family or an addict, especially when opioids are involved. It is important to keep all options open and get in contact with as many different programs in the province as possible.


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Marcel Gemme

More Info

Marcel Gemme has been helping people struggling with addiction for over 19 years. He first started as an intake counselor for a drug rehabilitation center in 2000. During his 5 years as an intake counselor, he helped many addicts get the treatment they needed. He also dealt with the families and friends of those people; he saw first-hand how much strain addiction puts on a family and how it can tear relationships apart. With drug and alcohol problems constantly on the rise in the United States and Canada, he decided to use the Internet as a way to educate and help many more people in both those countries. This was 15 years ago. Since then, Marcel has built two of the largest websites in the U.S. and Canada which reach and help millions of people each year. He is an author and a leader in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. His main focus is threefold: education, prevention and rehabilitation. To this day, he still strives to be at the forefront of technology in order to help more and more people.

Meet an Expert

Sylvain Fournier

Sylvain Fournier | Bio

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