KAWARTHA LAKES-A number of community health experts announced a joint proposal from Canadian Mental Health Association HKPR and FourCast to establish a facility for residential detox and residential addiction treatment in Peterborough.
“The addition of withdrawal management and adult residential treatment to Fourcast’s existing continuum of services in this region would provide more supportive opportunities for those in our community who want to make changes to their substance use. People who struggle with substance abuse and addictions need many options to navigate their recovery journey. A collaborative partnership with CMHA has enabled us to submit a strong proposal for funding to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care that we hope is met with a favorable outcome.” said Donna Rogers – FourCast
Officials say the proposed facility will primarily serve Peterborough County, Peterborough City, City of Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland County and Haliburton County.
In 2022, 539 individuals from our community attended the Emergency Department for drug poisoning, Emergency Medical Services responded to 357 opioid poisonings 911 calls. On average a person died every seven days from a drug poisoning, 59 people died from a drug poisoning in 2022 within Peterborough. (Peterborough Public Health, Opioid Harms Data Portal, 2023).
The proposal would leverage $1.13 million of funding per year for a two-year period from the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions to operate a facility on a pilot basis to demonstrate the effectiveness of the service model according to officials. Additional funding will be needed from local community partners to establish the facility and demonstrate to Ontario Health that the community supports a residential-based treatment option to help local individuals combat the ongoing opioid crisis.
A number of community partners voiced support for the proposal.
“In the past years, our paramedics have responded to unprecedented and alarming numbers of calls related to mental health and addictions in our community. While the interactions that paramedics have with these patients in crisis is critical and often life saving, these interactions are often missed unique and valuable opportunities to provide access to the treatment and resources for these individuals. In our view, this announcement today is forming another critical link in the chain of survival for the mental health and addictions crisis in our community. Our Paramedic Service is proud to be a part of a community committed that understands that linked programs focused on prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery is key to saving lives and reducing suffering.” – Randy Mellow, Chief of Peterborough County Paramedics
“I see today’s funding announcement as a positive support for those in our community who will benefit from this service. Police leaders, myself included, have long acknowledged that officers shouldn’t necessarily be the primary response to those who are suffering from mental health and addictions; yet the police are often tasked to respond to these types of situations. Clearly mental health and addiction are not criminal but can lead to criminal behaviour – we don’t want that – our job is to keep the community safe and I see this type of program as a way to assist us in that goal.” – Stu Betts, Chief of Police – Peterborough Police Service
“Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) strongly supports the funding proposal put forward by our partners at Fourcast and CMHA HKPR to bring additional detox and treatment services to our community and region. If successful, this program will work to meet clients’ complex needs in collaboration with many partners – including the hospital, emergency services, social services, and other mental health and addictions service partners – by offering medically- supported, evidence-based interventions and care.” stated Dr. Lynn Mikula, EVP, Chief of Staff, Chief Medical Executive, PRHC
“Addiction treatment services, especially increasing the availability of beds for in-patient rehabilitation services for people experiencing more complex or chronic substance use, are essential for the wellbeing of individuals and families in our community. We need more detox beds as part of the spectrum of services that are provided by health care professionals and organizations in Peterborough, such as the provincially-supported Consumption and Treatment Services site operated by Fourcast. I applaud Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith and the Provincial Government for their leadership on this critical issue.” explained Jeff Leal, Mayor City of Peterborough