The Suboxone Treatment Program was created in Lac Seul as a result of a 2013 needs assessment. That study determined the number of drug users in the community was quite high. Since then, the
community has worked to get the program off the ground.
Located in Kejick Bay, the program had its first intake in June 2015 with eight clients taking part. Since then another intake of six clients have started the program, for a total of 14 people varying in age from 20–40 years old.
The clinic runs seven days a week with a staff of three: Program Coordinator, Aftercare Coordinator and Support Worker. When individuals enter the program they sign a contract. It stipulates that clients must be drug and alcohol free and must report regularly to the doctor.
Upon entering the program, there is a detoxification period and clients are started on Suboxone. What it does is eliminate the need for a “fix” as it works to repair the brain. It also alleviates withdrawal symptoms. The amount of time an individual can stay on Suboxone varies. It could last a year. But over time, the dosage is lowered until the individual no longer requires it.
Recognizing that individuals are abusing drugs for a reason, such as past trauma, the program aims to integrate aftercare into the program. This includes counselling as well as land-based
activities such as hunting trips or fishing. It’s the aim of staff, as well as the community, that the program not become a dispensing clinic for Suboxone. It’s important to address the issues behind their drug abuse.
While still in the early stages, program staff are already seeing positive changes in clients. They are getting back to themselves and getting back to their families.
Showing signs of success so far, the community wants to see the program continue. Funding is not in place at the moment, but the community is supporting it until the end of March. Ongoing funding is currently being pursued.
Suboxone Program Coordinator