19 Sep Substance Abuse in Surrey

In 2018, 210 people died from drug overdoses in Surrey; that’s one person every two days. Surrey is just one city in British Columbia that is dealing with a drug crisis. All across the province, drug addiction overdoses are increasing.

In Canada, the economic cost of health care related to substance abuse in 2014 was $38.4 billion, or about $1,100 for every Canadian. The large cost of substance abuse has made the public and the government take action to promote prevention and intervention.

According to Health Services Canada, approximately one in five Canadians aged 15 years and older will experience a substance use disorder, and whether the disorder is alcohol, tobacco, prescription drugs or illegal drugs, the damage can create lifelong health issues.

Most people begin using substances for a variety of reasons, including to socialize, relax, relieve pain or stress, but unfortunately, it’s all too easy to begin using drugs or alcohol habitually and develop a physical dependence that drives the body and mind to need more of it, more often.

What at first can seem like minimal use can quickly escalate, and friends and family should be aware of changes in behavior and mood that may indicate the beginning of an addiction.

Many people who are addicted to substance abuse find it difficult to seek help because of family pressures or deep-rooted stereotypes about mental illness and addiction. But thankfully, the Canadian government is stepping up and investing in addiction treatment initiatives.

The Substance Use and Addictions Program is a federal program established by Health Canada and run under the Canadian Drug and Substance Strategy. Every year, it provides $28.3M across Canada in response to the current drug and substance abuse issues.

A series of initiatives are placing focus on the following key areas:

  • Ending the stigma
  • Building a network of treatment centers
  • Advancing prevention
  • Creating a supporting environment
  • Shifting approach from criminal to medical
  • Saving lives

Judy Darcy, the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions is helping raise the profile of addiction as a health issue and not a criminal one. In a recent speech she stated that:

Through consultation, research, and action, it is clear that the province needs to bring everything to bear on this crisis. Saving lives and connecting people to treatment and recovery means moving beyond past approaches. There is no one pathway to hope: there are thousands. Not everyone walks the same path at the same speed. That journey may start with harm reduction. It may include a strong spiritual component. For Indigenous people, that path often involves reconnecting to land and family and culture. The important thing is that when someone is ready to walk their path, they do not walk it alone.

In Surrey, there are several inpatient and outpatient treatment programs available.
However, it’s not always easy for people who have become addicted to recognize their addiction, or to seek help by themselves, and often, family members don’t know how to help.

This is where an interventionist can help.

A professional Surrey interventionist, such as Andy Bhatti, can help your friend or family member to recognize that they have an addiction and that they need help. An interventionist can help your loved one walk the path towards addiction recovery and make sure they do not have to walk it alone.

If you are concerned about a loved one’s drug use, whether it is prescription, recreational, or occasional, call us for information.

Help is just a phone call away.



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