There’s hope – and help – for Islanders with addiction
Strengthening mental health services -
Many Islanders struggle with the impacts of drug, alcohol, and gambling addiction. For them and their families, Recovery Day represents the light at the end of the tunnel.
Observed across Canada on different days throughout September, Recovery Day offers a time of hope to those impacted by addiction. But ask anyone what it means and you’ll get definitions as varied as the experiences of people who have lived with addiction.
“I think Recovery Day means different things to different people, just as recovery can and should be defined by a person's own lived experiences, values, strengths, and goals,” said Jody MacLennan, a senior addiction counselor with Health PEI.
“It's an opportunity to bring awareness and hope that recovery is possible, to foster connections, learn about ways to seek help, and reduce stigma.”
The ultimate goal is to create a world where individuals won’t feel ashamed to seek help for their addictions. MacLennan said her colleagues mark Recovery Day as a way of showing that the struggle is more common than many people may realize.
Prince Edward Island offers addiction treatment and counseling through both government and a range of community groups working to help address the harm caused by addictions. The provincial government offers a variety of approaches because there is such a wide range of experience among people living with addiction.
“There are various ways to seek help across PEI, including outpatient services such as counseling, and various groups that provide education, support, skill-building, and therapy,” MacLennan said. “Inpatient services include withdrawal management, a three-week transition unit program, the Strength Program for youth, and recovery homes where clients can stay for several months.” There are opioid replacement programs as well.
Family members, friends, and caregivers can also access counseling and groups to help them cope with the impact of another’s drug or alcohol use or gambling.
“There isn’t just one path to healing,” MacLennan said, “and people need encouragement and help to find the service best suited to their needs.”