Substance Use Blog Series Part 1: Getting Help With Reducing Or Abstaining From Substance Use For Delta Residents
June 2, 2020
Welcome to the Deltassist Substance Use Services (SUS) blog series. This weekly series has been created during the COVID-19 pandemic to help increase awareness around drug and alcohol use and mental health.
April 14, 2020 was the 4-year anniversary of the declaration of the opioid crisis in BC. The BC Centre on Substance Use and Vancouver Coastal Health are now referring to the combined effects of COVID-19 and the opioid crisis as a Dual Public Health Emergency. This is a particularly challenging combination of crises as social isolation measures – which are critical in fighting COVID-19 – can increase the dangers associated with all kinds of substance use (not just opioids). For example, social distancing can create barriers to accessing formal and informal supports and may increase the chances of someone using alone, which can lead to overdose and/or death.
The dangers of this Dual Public Health Emergency are demonstrated by the fact that there was a 91% increase in monthly illicit drug overdose deaths in the Fraser Health Region in March 2020 (citation: https://www.vicnews.com/news/b-c-sees-60-more-overdose-deaths-in-march-compared-to-first-two-months-of-2020/ )
Given the heightened concerns around the opioid crisis as well as the challenges of COVID-19, Deltassist has put together a series of blogs containing relevant resources and support groups for adults who are looking to explore their substance use and/or get help in reducing, abstaining or recovering. Please note that the resources list provided does not cover all of the supports available within our community, rather it covers many of the services provided through Fraser Health and its community partners.
Although accessing services might take time and effort, you are not alone!
Deltassist Substance Use Counsellors can be seen quite quickly on weekdays and most peer support programs (like AA and SMART Recovery) do not fill-up, so you can attend them on short notice and there are now online options. However, other resources such as detox, treatment programs, and private services often have waitlists. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic (occurring at the time this post was written), some resources are accepting fewer clients than usual in order to keep safe social distancing practices. Other services are offering some of their programming online or by phone instead of in-person. Nevertheless, all the resources in the following list are still operating.
To speak with a Substance Use Counsellor at Deltassist call 604-594-3455 ext. 108.
~If you need immediate support coping with a crisis while waiting for help, please call the Fraser Health Crisis Line at 604-951-8855 or toll-free 1-877-820-7444. They are open 24/7. ~
Join us on our blog for the next five days as we unpack the following:
- Withdrawal Management (known sometimes as Detox)
- Medical treatment for Opioid Use disorder (Opioid Agonist Treatment)
- Substance Use Counselling
- Treatment Programs
- Peer Support/Online Self-Help/Safe Place to Sober Up
Update Sep 18, 2020: There are now also posts specifically on youth resources and resources for family and friends of people who use substances. Click on the highlighted words to go to those posts.