DRS femme1 480x400DRS femme1 480x400

nova scotia (1)


PotBanner narrow

Waiting List for Drug & Alcohol Treatment in Nova Scotia

Are there waiting lists for substance abuse treatment in Nova Scotia?

Yes, within the publicly funded drug and alcohol treatment sector, there will be wait times or waitlists for drug and alcohol treatment programs. However, within 2018, the Nova Scotia Health Authority reported that there has been a reduction for wait times for the treatment of an opioid addiction. At one point in the province, there was up to a six-month wait for treatment, when someone was struggling with an opioid addiction. The solution that made this possible was an investment of over 800 thousand dollars, new staff, and extended programs, and primary caregivers such as doctors who are able to treat people for an opioid addiction. Unfortunately, wait times still exist for the public drug and alcohol treatment programs, and families should contact all the facilities they can to find out how long the wait time will be. Within the private sector of treatment for substance abuse, there will not necessarily be any wait times or waitlists for treatment, and the admission process can usually happen right away. It is important for families not to close the door on this option and explore the different financial options to pay for private treatment. It is not uncommon for private drug rehab centers to have payment plans or work with an outside third-party financier for the treatment of a medical condition. Some families may try to extend their line of credit or go through a private insurance plan they have. All options should be considered when searching for drug and alcohol treatment in Nova Scotia and trying to help a loved one.

DRS femme2

DRS femme2

How does a waitlist or wait time work in Nova Scotia?

Like many provinces, Nova Scotia is doing what it can to help reduce wait times for treatment, unfortunately, the wait times for help at local hospitals or health care clinics for mental health services range from over 45 days to over 360 days. The wait times for addiction withdrawal management services in Nova Scotia can range from one day to 23 days. When someone is scheduled to have a visit at a community mental health or addiction center, and there is an urgent need, the wait is often seven days, and when the need is non-urgent, the wait can be up to 28 days. When someone is wanting help in the public sector, they will have to go through the Nova Scotia Health Authority and be placed on a waitlist, but it is important to speak with a family doctor or professional to see how this wait time can be reduced. In 2018, the province had increased funding with over 280 million dollars being put into the treatment of addiction and mental health. Within the private sector, there will often be no wait times or waitlists, and an addict can typically be admitted into treatment right away. Families searching for help should not rule this out and should always consider every option. Drug and alcohol addiction impacts many people in the province, and addicts do struggle to get the help they need, but it is important to keep pushing forward.

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

Within the province of Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Health Authority, which does include the Western, Northern, Eastern, and Central zones that provide the publicly funded services for drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Over 8000 people sought out help through this system between 2014 and 2015, and over 11,500 got help more than once. The majority of people seeking help for a substance abuse disorder were male receiving help through non-residential treatment, followed by residential withdrawal management, and less than one percent got help at an actual inpatient drug rehab program. Alcohol and opioids are the most commonly abused drugs in the province, and this is why the increased funding is being put there for the treatment of opioid addictions. Opioid addiction can be devastating, and for most addicts, this becomes a life-or-death situation. Families searching for help should consider all options for treatment and explore all the possibilities where their loved one can get help.


marcel gemme author

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

Across Canada, there are many different treatment options to choose from, private, government-funded, inpatient, and outpatient. See More