Kelly Csada, a mother-turned-advocate for improved supports for mental health and addictions, joined the NDP in the Legislature today to raise concerns about how people across rural and urban Saskatchewan are having trouble accessing proper treatment for addictions.
“This session we’ve heard so many concerns brought forward by families with different experiences with addictions,” said NDP Health Critic Vicki Mowat. “They all want to see the Sask. Party government improve access to proper treatment. It’s long past time this government finally commits to funding the proper resources to handle this crisis.”
Three years ago, Csada lost her son Tama to complications related to an addiction he’d battled for over 10 years. She recalls hitting “brick walls” every time she tried to get him help, whether it was with detox, social services, the hospital or treatment centres. There never was a solid path to help him get treatment for his addiction, and with three children to raise, she couldn’t afford to seek private options.
Now, she’s watching another loved one face many of the same obstacles accessing treatment. Her sister lives in rural Saskatchewan, far from any supports. When Csada calls detox, she is told that they will hold a bed for her sister for two hours, but that isn’t much help when her sister lives two hours away and must find someone to drive her. This small window to access the treatment she needs makes recovery difficult.
“It’s distressing knowing it’s too late to help Tama, but I still have hope for my sister,” Csada said.
“These families should not have to rely on hope alone,” Mowat said. “The shortage of addictions services for people in every part of the province is a problem that needs to be addressed. Medical professionals are key in helping to manage this crisis, but they lack the resources to effectively fight this battle.”