New withdrawal treatment beds to allow for more flexibility with length of stays

By | October 16, 2019

Tim Salzen & Megan Benedictson, CTV News Winnipeg
Published Wednesday, October 16, 2019 10:44AM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, October 16, 2019 10:46AM CST

The province has opened what it calls “flexible-length” treatment beds, saying the move follows expert advice.

The 11 beds now open in Brandon and Winnipeg are specifically aimed at helping those struggling with methamphetamine and opioid addictions. They were opened in response to recommendations contained in the 2018 VIRGO report on addictions services in Manitoba, the province said.

The term “flexible-length” refers to the length of time a person may need the bed to withdraw from meth or opioids. 

“These additional flexible-stay beds will improve our ability to provide addictions care closer to home, including for those individuals who may require longer treatment or additional support,” said Dr. Jitender Sareen, specialty lead of mental health and addictions with Shared Health, in a news release.

“This new, evidence-based service will increase the available treatment options for patients, families and providers across Manitoba as we make strides to better align core mental health and addictions services and supports with the needs of our patients,” said Sareen. 

Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen said the beds provide more access to treatment for those struggling with addiction to dangerous drugs like meth. 

Elsewhere in the release, Justice Minister Cliff Cullen reiterated the need for access to recovery services, such as those provided by the new beds.

“These new beds will provide appropriate care to patients going through withdrawal from unpredictable drugs like meth, expanding the array of addictions services that are available to Manitobans,” said Cullen. 

The Brandon beds are currently housed at a temporary site while a permanent location is constructed. 

The Klinic Community Health Centre in Winnipeg and the Community Health and Housing Association in Brandon are providing the service.