10 Jun Private Saskatchewan Treatment Centres are Re-opening after Adjusting For COVID-19
When COVID-19 first caused Saskatchewan to close down, many people mourned the loss of shopping and dining out. However, a more severe problem concerned those suffering from the disease of addiction; the search for an in-person treatment program. Several residential programs were unsure how to become COVID compliant and still do business as usual with their residents. Due to concerns regarding COVID, many centres that treat addiction to alcohol and drugs shut their doors, leaving many potential patients in limbo.
Alcohol purchases have spiked across the province and all over Canada as the coronavirus pandemic has worsened, prompting growing concern from medical experts about excessive alcohol and drug use during the crisis.
The past year of quarantining and social distancing has put an extra burden on people in Saskatchewan trying to get help with alcohol and drug misuse. Difficulty making appointments to seek help has hindered many attempts to enter recovery. Searching for residential treatment programs that remained open might have been difficult for many, especially if programs also had limited capacity due to social distancing guidelines in Saskatoon and Regina.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disorders During COVID
Substance abuse and mental health disorders increased tremendously in Saskatchewan during COVID because of multiple factors including…
- Domestic violence in the home
- Restrictive access to mental health counselling and addiction treatment
As Saskatchewan reopens, we may see a continued increase in new cases of addiction, eating disorders, and mental health disorders, as well as an increase in relapse rates as many people, try to adjust to this new normal.
The surge in mental health issues may remain untreated or undiagnosed as we move through this post-COVID era due to interrupted mental health services and other challenges for mental health and addiction services.
Rehabilitation Centres are Opening Up in Saskatchewan
As the world starts getting back to normal, clearer policies are in place for how rehab centres in Regina and Saskatoon can be more COVID compliant. A better understanding of COVID and how to implement new cleanliness guidelines has helped many treatment centres in Saskatchewan. The advent of coronavirus vaccines also helps increase safety. The rollout of available vaccines is expected to continue throughout the year.
Saskatchewan is now at a point at which many residential treatment programs have reopened. For those in need of treatment for addiction, this is welcome news. If you are looking for help for yourself or someone you love, contact us and we will assist with interventions, detox and inpatient or outpatient treatment options.
What Should be Asked Regarding COVID Policies at Treatment Centres in Saskatchewan?
When COVID first hit us there were a lot of treatment centres throughout Canada that were unsure how to stay open during the pandemic. The safety of their residential patients and employees caused many facilities to go on lockdown. Many of them are now reopening and offering much-needed treatment for addiction and alcoholism. WE only work with accredited and clean centres that have strictly laid out policies to keep our clients safe. Some questions we ask (and you can too) before placing any of our clients in the facilities are…
- What is your COVID compliance policy?
- Do you implement social distancing?
- Are masks required onsite?
- Do you require staff and residents to be vaccinated?
- What is your policy on leaving the grounds or having visitors?
What’s Different About Going to Treatment in Saskatchewan During COVID?
Treatment centres are considered essential critical infrastructure under Health Canada guidelines that most provinces are using to determine which services are exempt from requirements to shelter in place. In order to keep people safe, they’re being forced to adapt in ways that go against normal methods of treatment, forgoing things like group meetings, family visits and open-door policies.
To keep the virus out, treatment centres in both Saskatoon and Regina are cleaning more thoroughly and often, checking both staff and patient’s temperatures regularly, and implementing social distancing in all group activities. That means putting space between chairs in group therapy, spacing out or cancelling mass lectures, discharging some patients early if they seem stable enough to leave without relapsing, banning hugs and eliminating visits from friends and family, among other measures that fundamentally change the nature of rehab.
Have You Experienced a Relapse During COVID?
Mental health professionals have been speaking out about different ways to cope with isolation and anxiety regarding COVID-19, which can also act as triggers for those already in recovery in Saskatchewan, especially when coupled with cancelled Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings.
Social support and active involvement in group programs and in-person counselling play a huge role in recovery. In the absence of these, isolation and emotional distress can be significant triggers to relapse. Feelings of depression, anxiety, fear, uncertainty, loneliness and boredom can easily escalate particularly during this time.
This year can be stressful and even triggering for individuals in Saskatchewan who are struggling with an addiction, whether that is alcohol, illicit substances, gambling or food.
As bars and restaurants reopen across the province and concerts and baseball games welcome back crowds, many individuals who struggle with drug or alcohol misuse disorder may be triggered by the availability of drugs or alcohol in social settings.
High-stress situations such as learning to adapt to new rules and guidelines, financial and economic instability, adapting to a new working environment, or the reality of still trying to get back into the workforce can lead to all types of addiction cravings. All of this duress can potentially trigger a relapse.
Although there are still a lot of worries, unknowns, stress, and financial hardship, there have been a lot of conversations about mental health and addiction during this COVID period.
Thankfully these conversations have led to tremendous awareness, which has helped lessen the stigma surrounding addiction and mental health, encouraging more people to seek treatment in Saskatchewan.
If you find yourself struggling with cravings or triggers during this time of adjusting back to the new normal, know that you are not alone. Whether you have a longstanding mental health diagnosis, in long-term recovery or have recently encountered addiction or alcoholism during this past year, it is important to be kind to yourself, as this adjustment period is challenging for everyone in Canada.
Finding the Right Residential Treatment Centre in Saskatchewan
We are here to take away the confusion and help you and your family choose the right treatment centre for you. At Andy Bhatti Addiction Services and Interventions in Saskatchewan, the private facilities we work with throughout Canada offer top-notch support from expert and compassionate staff. We’re standing by to answer any questions that you might have and to aid you in finding the tools, courage, and support that you need to begin walking on your journey towards sobriety, happiness, and health. Call us today and one of our professional Interventionists or Addiction Specialists can meet with you or your family in Saskatoon or Regina within 24 hours.