According to Statistics Canada, 19% of Canadians aged 12 and older (roughly 5.8 million people) reported alcohol consumption levels that classified them as heavy drinkers. More often than not, heavy drinking leads to other drug use and as the City of Victoria grapples with the current addiction crisis it is clear that more options are desperately needed.
Joel Hughes, Clinical Manager at Edgewood Health Network Victoria is working to fill this need. “The Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is very unique in the addiction treatment field,” says Hughes. “We really want to provide individuals with a flexible option to conquer the disease of addiction and its related behaviours. We work closely with our clients on an outpatient level to create a tailor-made plan that is going to work best for that person and their lifestyle.”
Alex thought coming home after work every day and having a couple of drinks to unwind was what everyone did. You know, de-stress from work overload. Put your feet up. Relax. Breathe. A couple of glasses of wine always seemed to help Alex let go of the stressors of life.
Soon though, two glasses of wine a couple of times a week turned into a bottle of wine daily. It went from a small bottle to a big bottle. He started snorting a few lines of cocaine. It was affecting his marriage and his relationship with his young children. It became a vicious cycle he couldn’t quit if he tried. And he did try. Several times in fact, but the drinking and drugging continued to escalate.
This was Alex’s secret. Nobody at work knew of his dependence on alcohol and drugs. Alex was successful. A keener, climbing the corporate ladder. A high functioning alcoholic. But underneath all of his successes, Alex’s life was falling apart.
Alex heard about the Intensive Outpatient Program at the Edgewood Health Network Victoria location. This program wasn’t your typical “rehab” stint. This was different. It provided education on addiction: its effect on the brain, behaviours and its impact on the family. It included group therapy, individual sessions, and drug and alcohol monitoring while providing the flexibility for participants to sustain employment and balance their daily lives.
At the end of the 12 week program Alex had learned relapse prevention strategies, how to manage cravings and the importance of connecting with others in recovery from alcohol and drug abuse. Since completing the program in June 2016 Alex has remained abstinent from all mood-altering chemicals.
It is important to note that outpatient treatment may not be best suited for everyone. Correct assessment is crucial when determining what level of care will provide the best results. The Edgewood Health Network provides individuals with choices. The equation is simple. Proper assessment equals proper placement equals better outcomes.
“I really see the benefits of working with clients at an outpatient level, but we also have a tremendous amount of support from the professional team at the Edgewood Inpatient Treatment Centre in Nanaimo, BC,” explains Hughes. “It’s the best of both worlds and we’re seeing very positive results.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction call EHN Victoria for a free consultation and let us design a program that will work for you. 250-590-3168 or visit us online: www.edgewoodhealthnetwork.com/victoria