Updated: Oct 18, 2020
Mixing Addictions and Mental Health is one of the biggest and most dangerous mistakes made by the NDP.
Addictions need a dedicated response with a graduating program. The lack of follow through is where previous governments fail. What does a conservative approach to addictions include? It includes a three part program in concert with graduating rehab centres, dedicated supportive living, a wellness contract, and financial support.
“People don't need to hit rock bottom, or incur brain damage before they get the help they need.”
I am not a believer in harm reduction, except perhaps at the very beginning of the process.
The first step is a form of hospitalization where patients can safely detox, receive medical attention, and address any pain issues or abuse issues that lead them to this place. (#opiodcrisis #recovery #detox)
Dedicated Supportive Living
Drug users need a dedicated space for the supported living phase of recovery. It is not ethical to put them into places with seniors and those with disabilities/mental illnesses, as it only leads to tragedies. Not only that, but they don't get the attention they need. Depending on the severity of the addition there can be up to two years of recovery from the damage done to the brain and body. They do need care from neurologists, psychologists, perhaps psychiatrists, and nutritionists, in addition to screening for root causes like ADHD and possible reconciliation work with their friends and families.
This in an important part where police can help an individual when he/she falls off the wagon. It is common for people to relapse and this can have devastating consequences both for the individual and especially for the family. Binge drinking or heavy drug use can easily lead to overdose, death, and financial loss which endangers family members as well. A Wellness Contract is when users who admit they want help can like any other direct directive decide in advance when they are sober what conditions constitute being returned to rehab by the police. This also alleviates the trauma and feelings of guilt and responsibility for partners and family members. This trauma is further alleviated by acquainting the individual with a care team in advance.
One of the lesser known tragedies to people suffering from addictions is the severe financial loss that drug use and/or binge drinking can entail. Creating financial accounts for people with life challenges such as drug use or in the case of Bipolar disease is that an account can be frozen until the individual is marked safe. This is an essential part of their care when they are "high", and it saves families from homelessness due to rent money disappearing, and keeps them from resorting to risky financial arrangements such as Payday loan schemes and saves them from the resulting spiral of shame.