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Why finding treatment for addictions is so difficult in northern Ontario – TVO

In Red Lake, as in many remote communities across the province, finding counselling services, withdrawal-management support, or residential treatment can be a battle in and of itself.

After about a month-long wait in 2013, the day had finally arrived: Terry Johnston was on his way to a residential treatment facility. The 48-year-old had been booked on a flight to Winnipeg. He was then scheduled to fly to Toronto and take a bus to Guelph, where he’d been enrolled in a 35-day program. But when his flight to Winnipeg was cancelled because of fog, he started having second thoughts.

“Right then, I start to put in mind, ‘Why am I even doing this? Why am I even going?’” he says. “It was an easy excuse to say, ‘To hell with it’ and just go drink. But because I had support from my mom and stuff, that couldn’t happen.”

After a roughly 12-hour delay, Johnston was able to fly out of Red Lake, a small gold-mining town about three hours north of Kenora. Overall, the journey to Guelph took him approximately 12 hours and cost him more than $1,500 one way. But he’s been sober — except for one incident — since completing the program that his former employer paid for just over five years ago.

Read More: https://www.tvo.org/article/why-finding-treatment-for-addictions-is-so-difficult-in-northern-ontario

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