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Waiting List for Substance Abuse Treatment in Saskatchewan

Are there waiting lists for substance abuse treatment in Saskatchewan?

The publicly funded drug and alcohol treatment programs and services in the province of Saskatchewan will have wait times and waiting lists that an addict will either have to be placed on or contact the facility daily to check if there is a bed available. Unfortunately, waitlists and wait times are part of the publicly funded drug and alcohol treatment services, but the province of Saskatchewan is doing more to help increase the availability of help, amidst the current opioid epidemic within Canada. Within the private sector in Saskatchewan, there will not necessarily be any wait times or waitlists, and the admission process can usually happen quickly. It is important for families and addicts not to rule out private drug and alcohol treatment, and to always look at every option available to them. When searching for substance abuse treatment programs it can be frustrating to know the cost of some of these facilities. However, it is not uncommon for most private drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs to help families work out a financial solution. Some private substance abuse treatment centers may have payment plan options; private health insurance may be able to help, or financing options through an outside third party, or extending a current line of credit. The admission process for a private drug and alcohol treatment program can happen right away, and the door should not be shut on these centers.

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How does a waitlist or wait time work in Saskatchewan?

The wait times for private-sector drug and alcohol treatment programs in Saskatchewan can be 15 to 18 days, but this can be different depending on the facility and with how many people may be looking for help. How a wait time or wait list will work in Saskatchewan is the family or addict can go through the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health at a local regional health authority and see what availability is there for substance abuse treatment. If there is a spot, the admission process can happen, but more often, then not the patient will have to be placed on a list or call the different centers to see if there is a bed. When contacting drug and alcohol treatment centers, it is important to contact as many as possible and find out what the wait times will be. Within the private sector, the addict or family can contact the program directly, or go through a referral agency, and typically there will be no wait times or waitlists. It can be frustrating for many families, because this may come down to be a life-or-death situation. It is important not to close the door to any option and ensure all avenues have been exhausted; it is also a good idea to speak with the experts in the field, look at detox programs or 12 step support group in the interim. Many addicts may become discouraged when they are not able to access help right away, but it is important to keep pushing forward.

The Current Situation in Saskatchewan – Who is seeking out addiction treatment?

The Saskatchewan Ministry of Health is responsible for the publicly funded drug and alcohol treatment programs, which are operated through 12 regional health authorities. The regional health authorities are community-based organizations that are funded by the Ministry of Health and will provide drug and alcohol treatment services. Between 2014 and 2015, more than 13,000 people sought out help within the public sector, and over 19,000 sought out help more than once. Over 60 percent of the people receiving help were male and over 30 percent was female, with the majority of people getting help from non-residential treatment centers, followed by residential withdrawal management and residential treatment programs. When struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, the public sector is often the first place that an addict or family will turn to. Alcohol is the most abused drug in the province, followed by cannabis, opioids and then hypnotics.


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Marcel Gemme

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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.

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Sylvain Fournier

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