Raising addictions awareness in Fort St. John

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Erica Fisher

Erica is a reporter for Moose FM and energeticcity.ca in Fort St. John, B.C. She grew up in Victoria, B.C. and received her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

In addition to its other addiction services, Northern Health recently started offering a day treatment program in Fort St. John, in an effort to not send those affected out of the community for their recovery.

"I think that it speaks to a more realistic view of when people are working on their journey of recovery, that it's done within the community with the support of their family and friends," she explains. "I don't think it's very realistic for us to send people away and then come back in and try and cope with what they haven't been around for some weeks."

The program runs four days a week, and Northern Health is currently trying to get it better attended.

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"It doesn't matter if you don't make it in at the beginning, you can come in at any time through the process of the day treatment program and you can take it as many times as required."

The idea of complete rehabilitation in your own community is the basis for a new rehab centre in the works for the Energetic City. Former Mayor Bruce Lantz announced the project in October 2011, hoping to help 38 to 42 patients at a time.

Throughout National Addictions Awareness Week, information booths will be set up at Northern Lights College on Tuesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and at Totem Mall Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will also be presentations at schools, and outreach to local bars and pubs.

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