Residents in Recovery has begun a cautious process of inviting people back into in-person recovery sessions.
The drug and alcohol recovery centre was closed for physical programs when the COVID-19 outbreak began in March. In that time, they adapted programs to be online and continued operating two sober living homes. Gradually as COVID-19 restrictions loosened, some in-person sessions for people living in these homes resumed. On August 19th, Residents in Recovery began intaking smaller sessions for the entire community again.
Executive Director Tyler Lorenz says they wanted to get back to in-person sessions as demand for their services has increased during the pandemic.
“The numbers are definitely higher than we’ve ever seen. I think pretty much Canada Wide, or North America wide, overdose rates are higher than they’ve ever been, and we’re seeing the same thing here, that more people are relapsing and seeing dire consequences as a result of COVID and their addiction.”
People using Residents in Recovery’s in-person services will need to follow an intake program, available on their website. When they arrive at the downtown location, they’ll be health-screened at the door and then broken off into groups in their program rooms. Some of these groups are strictly for people in their sober living houses, which other sections are for these community programs.
Lorenz says they’ve already seen some people take part in their community support in the week that they’ve been re-opened.
“[We’ve seen] probably, maybe six or seven community people so far, so it’s been good. I’m sure that number will increase as word gets out and as time goes on. It’s a matter of getting people back into recovery as well.”
Residents in Recovery is also continuing work getting permits from the town of Bonnyville for a new sober living home there, as well as securing more operational funds from the Saskatchewan Health Authority and Alberta Health Services.
They’re also still raising funds by taking in new players for The Summer Scramble for Mental Health and Addictions, which will be ongoing until September 19th.