The Fresh Start South Country Treatment Centre helps individuals who deal with addiction issues in our city. The organization was acquired by the Fresh Start Recovery Centre. The Executive Director, Stacey Petersen, presented to the Lethbridge Cultural and Social Standing Policy Committee today. Petersen says that the treatment centre has a recovery rate that is five times higher than the national rate for their patients. The centre in Lethbridge is looking for further expansion for more beds and housing.
The Fresh Start Recovery Program is a not-for-profit charity.
“If you’re homeless, whatever your situation is, you can access treatment,” says Petersen.
Petersen says that capacity is a problem, and they’re looking to increase the size of the centre for live-in treatment.
There are currently 23 treatment beds in the Lethbridge location, with 21 of the beds being paid for by the Alberta government.
Men and women come into a minimum 14-week program, and once the program is completed, they don’t have to leave.
“The goal here is to build a life of recovery that you want to keep,” adds Petersen.
Petersen says that Fresh Start has been working with Indigenous communities to bring elders down to the location in Lethbridge.
The centre also implements harm reduction by using opioid agonist therapy.
“The goal is to taper over a period of time to get them to long-term abstinence,” says Petersen.
The current waitlist is 191 people. “That tells me that we have 191 people, and I can’t get them in right now because I don’t have room. I have 50 beds in Calgary, 23 in Lethbridge, and 46 post-treatment. I am so heartened by the openness in Lethbridge to start to look at that expansion,” says Petersen.
The Lethbridge treatment centre is hoping to expand by another 50 beds or so in the next year, and post-treatment housing is being looked at in the community.