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'Impact residents in a positive way': Sask.'s newest addictions treatment facility to open in spring

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A 60-bed addictions treatment facility will be opening at the former Living Skies Retreat and Conference Centre near Lumsden.

The facility will be operated by Edgewood Health Network (EHN) Canada, an addictions treatment provider specializing in treatment of all types of addictions and mental health issues.

The facility, which will be the largest in the province, will provide patients holistic addictions treatment for up to 16 weeks, according to a release from the province.

“The longer someone is in active treatment, the better,” said Christina Basedow, EHN VP of National Operations. “It’s a long time in comparison to typical 28-day programs.”

Basedow said patients will also have the ability to access further supports to better suit their recovery.

“Maybe connect, or re-connect, to cultural or even spiritual components of themselves they may have lost while in active addiction,” she said.

The new centre is one of a number of treatment centres opening this year as part of the government’s commitment to add 500 addictions treatments across Saskatchewan.

With the new announcement, the total number of addictions treatment spaces sits at 168, according to the province.

“We have made access to addictions treatment in Saskatchewan simpler,” said Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Tim McLeod. “It used to be [residents] required physician referral. Now people can self-refer.”

Renovations on the centre will begin in a few weeks, with plans to open by the spring.

Post-treatment supports will also be available when patients leave in-house care.

“It can be quite scary leaving treatment,” Basedow said. “We’ll connect them with external services and build an after-care plan with each individual.”

“That’s a big component to ensuring long-term success,” she added.

DRUG TOXICITY DEATHS

The announcement came as the province reported its most drug toxicity deaths ever in 2023.

According to the Saskatchewan Coroners Service, 484 people died of confirmed or suspected drug toxicity in 2023.

The previous high was 407 deaths in 2021. In 2022, 367 people died of drug toxicity.

“That’s a big increase,” Saskatchewan’s Chief Coroner Clive Weighill told CTV News in December. “Narcan helps with Fentanyl but not with other drugs.”

“That’s a problem,” he added.

Basedow said the centre’s success will have impacts beyond the individual and into families, workplaces and communities.

“If we’re providing good care, this should impact Saskatchewan and its residents in a really positive way,” she went on to say.

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