Director of Programs and Development at the Safe Harbour Society Brenda Hogan, left, and Manager of the Medically Supported Detox Centre Jennifer Cross cut the cake at the event celebrating the Safe Harbour Society’s first year of the medically supported detox centre. Robin Grant/Red Deer Express

Safe Harbour celebrates one year of helping people detox with medical assistance

Substance abuse workers say they are seeing methamphetamine use on the rise

Safe Harbour Society celebrated the first year of its medically supported detoxification centre on Thursday.

Jennifer Cross, manager of the medically supported detox centre, said she sees on a daily basis how the detox program helps individuals in Central Alberta manage their withdrawal symptoms.

“People are saying it’s helpful,” she said. “They have tried to withdraw before and it was too miserable and too difficult to do it by themselves.”

The program provides individuals looking to detox with access to seven doctors as well as 24-hour care and access to nurses.

Two measures of success include people moving on to treatment programs and individuals coming back for additional help, Cross explained.

She added,”They also really appreciate having a physician to talk to and to oversee their care.”

Families also benefit from the program because they struggle when a family member who has an addiction, Cross said.

While much of the focus has been on heroin, fentanyl and other opioids, news outlets lately have reported that substance abuse workers are seeing an increase of methamphetamine cases.

Cross agreed. She said more people are coming in after using meth in the past year, but said Safe Harbour has not yet developed programs as a result.

“I think we need to watch the trend a bit longer” she said. “I’ve heard that some people feel that meth is safer than fentanyl and might be taking it. But people use a lot of substances.”

She said the effects of the drug are severe.

“It really creates unpredictable behaviour. People can be on it for days at a time and not sleep, not eat and they are exhausted. The long-term effects of meth use are very damaging as well.”

Dr. Michael Mulholland, lead doctor with the program and head of family medicine at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre, said in the centre’s statistics, most cases involve individuals coming in addicted to alcohol, but the second largest number is crystal meth.

He added that some weeks, the case numbers of people on crystal meth are higher.

“I’ve asked people why they use crystal meth,” he said, adding that fentanyl addiction is still a major concern. “It’s cheap, it’s six bucks. It keeps you awake.”

“Crystal meth causes a lot of mental heath issues,” he said. “People get very paranoid. They get aggressive, so the use of crystal meth is very, very significant.”

Just Posted

Reflecting on the impact of dementia in a loved one

January is Alzheimer Awareness Month

Red Deerians can weigh in on proposed Bighorn Country investment tonight

Telephone town hall takes place 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Vibrant colours highlight newest exhibit at The Hub

‘Chaos to Calm’ by Cathy Fee runs through to the end of March

Neonatal nurse practitioner joins NICU care team

Babies requiring specialized care at Red Deer Hospital have extra set of hands caring for them

The old Greyhound Bus Depot is being demolished

The Red Deer building has been around for decades

UK lawmakers reject Brexit deal in 432-202 vote

House of Commons votes against the deal struck between Britain’s government and the EU

Theresa May wins no-confidence vote after Brexit deal rejection

UK PM can keep her job, after House of Commons voted 325-306

Liberal candidate steps aside after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Alberta doctor accused of sexual assault asked to voluntarily give up practice

College says Dr. Barry Wollach should discontinue his practice, given the seriousness of the allegation against him

Defending champions Team Scheidegger will fight to keep title

Stettler hosting 2019 Alberta Scotties provincial women’s bonspiel

WATCH: World-renowned illusionist, magician, escapist performs in Stettler

Matt Johnson performs two sold-out shows at Stettler Performing Arts Centre

Olivia and Liam top list for Alberta baby names in 2018

Premier Rachel Notley announced the top baby names in Alberta in 2018; Loki didn’t make the cut

Edmonton Police charged 236 people with auto theft in 2018

Police states many of the thefts are crimes of opportunity

Woman’s complaint leads to sexual assault charge against Calgary priest

Malcolm Joe D’Souza, who is 62, has been charged with one count of sexual assault

Most Read