By: Abigayle McIntosh
Intervention or assistance for people suffering from drug addiction or mental health disorders is not something that can be forced.
Senior Drug Education Officer Feona Scotland explained that in order to get help the individual must first acknowledge they are going through something and are willing to accept the necessary intervention.
Scotland is attached to the Substance Use Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation Centre (SPARC) unit.
She said the unit does not have the authority to act within its own regard when a request is made for assistance.
“No one is going to take you unless you say yes, I am ready. That’s the challenge that we have people seem to think that because this person needs help we are to come in and make the referrals, taking them is one thing but putting them where,” she said.
She stated, however, that those who willingly seek support are referred to the Cross Roads Centre which provides services for people struggling with alcohol, opiates, marijuana, cocaine, or other addictive substances.
“Crossroads works well with us so it is very easy for us to make referrals right on the spot, but if the individual does not request and accept the assistance there is nothing we can do,” she added.
Meanwhile, the education officer also spoke about drug abuse among children noting that more and more cases are now surfacing and while the department offers some level of assistance through its school program, there is no facility to assist children with addiction issues or mental health disorders.
“We do not have a government system for our youths who are under 18 years and getting into Clareview Psychiatric hospital for anyone is a long process which requires you to visit the district doctor who gives a referral to the hospital for some test and having to sit and wait like everyone else and for someone with a mental health issue this could present a challenge,” Scotland said.