News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

October 16, 2019

FLEXIBLE-LENGTH WITHDRAWAL TREATMENT BEDS OPEN IN WINNIPEG AND BRANDON

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Beds Added to Increase Access to Treatment for Methamphetamine Use: Friesen, Cullen

Flexible-length withdrawal treatment beds suitable for treating those struggling with a methamphetamine or opioid addiction are now open in Winnipeg and Brandon, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen and Justice Minister Cliff Cullen announced today.

“We are continuously working to improve mental health and addictions services throughout Manitoba,” said Friesen.  “These flexible-length withdrawal beds will provide more access to treatment for those struggling with addiction to dangerous drugs like meth.”

“People living with an addiction to methamphetamine need access to recovery services like flexible-length withdrawal treatment beds,” said Cullen in Brandon at the site of the new, permanent facility, where construction is underway.  “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.”

The minister noted the Brandon beds are currently operational at a temporary site.

Recommended in the VIRGO report, 11 flexible-length withdrawal beds have been created in Winnipeg and Brandon to provide patients with the necessary time they need to withdraw from dangerous drugs like methamphetamine.  The $4.2-million investment in the beds, to be spread out over four years, was provided via matching funding under the federal government’s Emergency Treatment Fund.

“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, Shared Health.  “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.”

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

In total, more than 100 initiatives addressing mental health and addictions have been implemented across all of government since 2016.  That includes a nearly $3-million investment announced last week to support expanded distribution of Thrival Kits, enhanced support for Project 11 and funding for the NorWest Youth Hub.

Several more initiatives are expected to be approved and announced by government in the coming weeks that were recommended in a variety of reports including VIRGO, the Illicit Drug Task Force and the Community Wellness and Public Safety Alliance.  Initiatives outlined in the government’s Safer Streets, Safer Lives Action Plan are also moving forward, said Cullen.

“By investing in prevention, treatment and recovery, we are better able to support people with the programs and services they need,” said Cullen.  “We look forward to announcing more initiatives in the weeks ahead that address addictions and mental health care needs across the province.”

For more information on the VIRGO report and its recommendations, visit:
www.gov.mb.ca/health/mha/strategy.html.

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