Access to Local Detox Services, Okanagan Recovery Day, Women’s Second Stage Addictions Recovery

Opioid Crisis Response 
In 2018 the Society joined a multidisciplinary Opioid Crisis Response Team to review Interior Health overdose data and to formulate a local response to reduce the number of overdoses and deaths due to overdoses in Vernon. Currently the Society is working to develop a safe consumption site at our new Our Place Shelter scheduled to open in June 2018. The program will follow best practices of safe consumption sites utilized by shelters across the province. The program will be geared towards drug testing to ensure the client knows what they are using, to reduce the number of people using substances in alleys and parks, to reduce using in isolation which is synonymous with overdose deaths and to provide information on addiction’s treatment options and reducing the spread of disease.
Haven Place, Supported Recovery Housing
In late 2017 the Society purchased a property and opened a sober living home for graduates of Bill’s Place and Creekside addiction’s recovery programs. We developed this program to increase success rates. Often people recovering from addiction do not have a home to return to. Haven Place offers a home for people to surround themselves with other people in recovery while building their new lives.
Bill’s Place, Addiction’s Treatment Center and Supported Recovery Housing
In early 2012 the Society purchased a property and opened Vernon’s first residential addiction’s recovery program. Though we operated a harm reduction focused program there were no abstinence focused programs in Vernon. Intervention Services are also available and the fee is based on the families income, so everyone can access the service.
In 2017 Interior Health started funding part of this amazing program.

Okanagan Recovery Day
By the fall of 2012 the Society was operating two Residential Addictions Recovery Programs for men. In the community there was a lack of funding and awareness of the issues around long term recovery. In January 2013 the Society hosted the critically acclaimed film the Anonymous People at the Vernon Town Cinema which sold out. After the film the Society’s addictions recovery staff stayed for a question & answer period at which time it was made clear more needs to be done in order to raise awareness that addictions are not a moral failure, but a legitimate medical health condition. In March 2013 The Society met with people in long term recovery and through this process started Vernon’s involvement with the growing Recovery Day movement. Shortly thereafter, the Society joined the Okanagan Recovery Day planning committee and the Canadian Recovery Day committee. On Sept 28, 2014 the Society and Vernon’s recovery community participated in the second Okanagan Recovery Day held in Kelowna. In 2015 Vernon hosted the Okanagan Recovery Day. The Society has chaired and hosted the event every year ever since.

Women’s Second Stage Addictions Recovery
A “Partners in Action” team was created in the spring of 2010. Members developed a business plan and had temporarily secured a partnership with the Anglican Church for the location of the project. This has since fallen through. Unfortunately, funding for second stage housing for women has not been secured. This remained the biggest gap in Vernon’s affordable housing inventory. In 2017 the Society secured funding through Interior Health for Bill’s Place one of our residential addiction’s treatment and supported recovery housing programs. With this funding the program opened it’s doors to women. In 2017 our Creekside harm reduction program also opened it’s doors to women. In 2018 a generous donation allowed for Haven Place to open for women and men. The program is a post recovery supported housing program.

Access to Local Detox Services
There are currently no local Detox services in Vernon with the nearest referrals being Kamloops and Kelowna. In the summer of 2013 a Partners in Action team was tasked with researching the possibility of home Detox services and/or a “day-tox” program in Vernon. A pilot project was launched that targets people with an alcohol addiction (who are medically cleared) staying in supported housing. They are provided with Detox support from their physician, the street nurse, and supported housing staff. This means that people who meet the criteria for the program do not have to wait for a referral to Kamloops or Kelowna and can be detoxed safely in their own community. The Society in conjunction with the street nurse now facilitates this community program.