Hospital Wait Times up due to Addiction Cases

New numbers from a report looking at treatment and services for people who are dealing with mental health and addiction issues are troubling.

The Canadian Institute for Health and Information (CIHI) found more than 400 people across Canada are hospitalized every day because of drug and alcohol abuse.

It also found that one out of every 10 Canadians who visit an emergency room with a mental health or addictions issue make four or more visits a year.

Tracey Muggli, the director of Mental Health and Addictions Services with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, said it used to be the majority of people showing up at the ER for addictions had issues related to alcohol. Now, it’s much more complex.

“There are some pharmaceutical treatments for some drugs, like opioids, and alcohol. But there aren’t for others, say for example, crystal meth. So we have to really ramp up our ability to access and find the right modality of treatment,” Muggli said.

She emphasized the importance of ensuring people are getting the services they need when they show up at the emergency room.

“When people are in a moment of motivation to want to make a change in their life, we want to be able to be there in that moment, and capitalize on it,” Muggli said. “We’re trying to come with a system to make sure people get access.”

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