Coronavirus: Addictions Foundation of Manitoba sees increased calls

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The Addictions Foundation of Manitoba has seen increased, sustained calls to its helpline since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, its spokeswoman said.

“One-in-five Canadians do experience problems with substance use during their lifetimes. These sorts of conditions where there is increased isolation, increased pressure and anxiety — [it] creates sort of the perfect storm where people may be turning to substances,” Denisa Gavan-Koop said Sunday on CJOB.

AFM is Manitoba’s provincially-funded addictions non-profit.

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A recent Nanos poll commissioned by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction found 25 per cent of Canadians between the ages of 35 and 54 reported an increase in the amount of alcohol they drank during isolation.

Some, however, maybe drinking too much, or abusing other substances, Gavan-Koop said.

“These are our neighbours and our friends and our relatives, and it is important to act with care and compassion when folks do come and say, ‘I think I may be experiencing some challenges around this’, while connecting them with appropriate resources,” she said.

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Gavan-Koop pointed to free resources like community helplines,

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