Our Backyard: why we NEED a Detox and Rehabilitation Centre in this Community

Our Backyard: why we NEED a Detox and Rehabilitation Centre in this Community

I must say, it drives me crazy that the Sarnia Lambton area does not have a detox and rehabilitation residential treatment center. Don’t get me wrong, the individuals at Bluewater Health Addictions and Withdrawal Treatment do an excellent job assisting individuals in the community who are struggling on a daily basis. The problem, however, has grown to be beyond their reach and mandate.

We have recently found out that the city owns the old Sarnia General Site and I think that this would be a perfect place to start building the Centre that we desperately need. For a population of only 73,000- the drug problem in this city is enormous. Anyone that you talk to knows of someone who has overdosed or has committed suicide because of chemical dependency. It is truly an epidemic in Sarnia Lambton.

Representing addicts in court is something I do regularly. I have done much research both academically and on the ground on the issue. How nice it would be to be able to get a person out on bail to go directly into detox and then on to a pre-determined stay in rehabilitation. This is a win-win situation for our populace because almost all of the thefts from stores and vehicles in this community are drug-related. Persons who are drug seeking are looking for change or something to sell so they can get enough money for their next fix.

The “Not in my Backyard” argument does not hold water anymore. Sarnia is too small- everything is in your backyard. Also, extending services would bring the general rate of crime DOWN. Wouldn’t it be nice to not worry about thieves breaking into your car (that is in your driveway) in the wee hours of the morning? A Detox and Rehabilitation Centre would help with that.

I have spoken to the mayor personally about the problem. It was probably a rather funny scenario because I caught him off-guard at Coffee Culture- but I believed something needed to be done. I didn’t really get a concrete answer, nor did i expect to, but this is an issue I think we should all be making noise about.
Perhaps I’ll start a “Rehab For Our Backyard” campaign that pushes city counsel, and the provincial and federal governments to come to terms with our problem and give the people of Sarnia the services we desperately need.

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