Can Former Addicts Bring Hope To Those in Recovery?

In the final episode of our series on Addiction, Stu sits down with Brenda Plant, Executive Director of Turning Point Recovery, to talk about the safe haven where addicts can gain the support they need to find a way out of their addictions.

Turning Point is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to helping people who are recovering from addiction in a safe, supportive, abstinence-based environment.

Many of the certified counselors are recovering addicts themselves. As a result, the organization and its programs are recognized as one of the most successful in British Columbia.

It works, Plant says, because people who come to them do so because they know Turning Point is a place where addicts have found the hope they needed to recover through the help of people who have been where they are at.

No Centralized System for Addiction Treatment and Recovery

As Turning Point sets out to open its new facility in Richmond, Plant and others continue to put out the call for the implementation of a comprehensive system for treating substance addiction in British Columbia.

Right now, Plant says, there is no continuum of care from the street-level response to health care providers and, finally, policymakers. While programs across the spectrum are doing innovative work, they are limited in connecting services to users in crisis and recovery who require new tools to continue their care.

“We need a system where people can come into it at any point. People are scared,” Plant said. “We need to have programs and services available . . . treatment on demand.”

Dr. Evan Wood of the BC Centre On Substance Use has spoken out about this as well. See his Conversations That Matter episode on the need for federal drug policy reform HERE.

Services Are Even More Crucial In Midst of Fentanyl Crisis

In a report released on Dec. 11, 2017, the BC Coroner’s Office detailed the impact of this deadly opioid on the people of BC.

  • There were 999 illicit drug overdose deaths with fentanyl detected from January through October 2017. This is a 136% increase over the number of fentanyl detected deaths (423) occurring during the same period in 2016.
  • From January to October 2017, fentanyl was detected in approximately 83% of illicit drug overdose deaths.
  • Carfentanil has been detected in 48 suspected illicit drug overdose deaths in June-October 2017.
  • Approximately 28% of those dying from January to October 2017 were aged 30 to 39, with 92% between 19 and 59. Males accounted for 83% of all deaths during this period.
  • Fraser Health Authority had the highest number (324) of illicit drug overdose deaths with fentanyl detected from January through October 2017, followed by Vancouver Coastal Health (289) and Vancouver Island Health Authority (174).
  • Preliminary data for January through October 2017 suggest that the proportion of apparent illicit drug overdose deaths with fentanyl detected (alone or in combination with other drugs) is approximately 83%. Proportions from 2012 to 2017 are as follows:
    – 2012 = 4%
    – 2013 = 15%
    – 2014 = 25%
    – 2015 = 29%
    – 2016 = 68%
    – 2017 (Jan.-Oct.) = 83%

Hope for Recovery

The BC Centre on Substance Use is working to bring everyone together to implement a comprehensive treatment approach across the board in order to begin to slow and even begin to reverse the growing number of Fentanyl-related deaths.The continuum of interventions is broadened by programs such as Turning Point.

Other organizations providing services along this continuum include:

Street To Home

Crosstown Clinic

Fraser Health

Vancouver Coastal Health

BC Ministry of Health

Take a moment to click through and get to know the work they are doing.

Take Action

Click HERE to locate and e-mail your MLA to begin a dialogue with policymakers whose decisions impact the way the Opioid Crisis and other public health emergencies in B.C. are handled.

More Conversations

Explore the work being done in our community through the following Conversation That Matters with Eugenia Oviedto-Joekes of Vancouver’s Crosstown Clinic talking about the medical heroin treatment trials held there that lead to the Ministry of Health approving guidelines in October 2017 for increased Hydromorphone treatment programs.

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