Advocate joins NDP in calling for improved access to addictions treatment

Addictions treatment under the Sask. Party government is failing families who are seeking help for their loved ones. That’s the message from Stacey Bereza, who joined the NDP at the Legislature today to call on the government to improve access to treatment for those battling addictions.

“There is an opioid and crystal meth crisis underway in Saskatchewan, and there simply aren’t enough spaces or supports for those seeking treatment for these addictions,” said Mental Health and Addictions Critic Danielle Chartier. “The provincial government can and must do more to address this crisis.”

Bereza, a 911 dispatcher for a municipal police service for the past eight years, believes the number of overdose calls has spiked dramatically in that time.

Her son Kaden has struggled with an opioid addiction, and she has struggled to get him access to treatment in Saskatchewan. She faced waits and challenges getting her son treatment at Wakamow Detox Centre in Moose Jaw and was ultimately turned away from Thorpe Recovery Centre in Lloydminster. Her next best option was to have Kaden get treatment at a private care centre in British Columbia, where she has since paid $80,000 for treatment, cashing in RRSPs and taking out a line of credit.

“I don't have the money for this, but you do what you have to do for your child,” Bereza said. "Not only do I deal with this on a personal level, but professionally too as a 911 dispatcher. “I am supposed to give people the list of resources we have, but what we have is no resources.”

“Stacey and so many others don’t know what to do for their loved one because the services simply aren’t there,” Chartier said. “Paying thousands of dollars for treatment is not an option many can afford to pursue. What we’re seeking today from this government is a plan to rapidly increase capacity for medically aided detox and rehabilitation beds.”