Managed Alcohol Program for Kenora expected to improve health outcomes

Year 1 No. 29 — Friday, October 28, 2016

Addictions professionals and the region’s health care authority believe the City of Kenora with benefit from a new approach to helping severe alcoholics in the community manage and treat their condition.

After consultations with social service support organizations and health care providers, The North West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) in partnership with the Kenora Managed Alcohol Program (MAP) Advisory Committee will establish a managed alcohol program operated through Lake of the Woods District Hospital’s Morningstar Centre.

The harm reduction approach involves the regular administration of alcohol in order to stabilize and moderate alcohol intake. Kenora’s MAP will provide 10 individuals with a safe and secure living situation to physically stabilize, relearn basic skills and reconnect with the community and their families. The program aims to reduce contact with police, emergency department visits, hospital admissions, overall health care costs and improve participant’s quality of life.

“We worked very hard with community partners and stakeholders to make the Managed Alcohol Program a reality, and our collective vision has gone through several iterations to arrive at the final product,” said Michelle Queen, Executive Director of Changes Recovery Homes.

“Changes Recovery Homes is extremely pleased that those suffering from chronic alcohol addiction will begin to receive the support and services they need. We are grateful to the Morningstar Detox Centre for finding a pragmatic way to move forward with the funding available. We feel that there will be enormous benefits for both the clients and the whole community.”

A harm reduction program such as the MAP is needed in Kenora due to a large population with severe alcoholism and associated chronic issues that aren’t being effectively addressed through current services. The homeless and marginally housed population in Kenora, who live with chronic alcohol addictions will benefit from the MAP, as will those who have attempted other treatment programs without success.

“The MAP is an enhanced multidisciplinary health care intervention, which provides on-site physician assessments, nursing care, mental health and addiction therapist consultation and specialized attendance protocol,” said Bruce Siciliano, Vice President Mental Health & Addiction Programs, Lake of the Woods District Hospital. “The Lake of the Woods District Hospital wishes to thank our community partners including law enforcement, mental health and addictions workers, legal services, the municipality, public health workers, and the North West LHIN for their tremendous support in bringing the Managed Alcohol Program to our citizens.”