Operating in near obscurity off Glenmore Road in Lake Country, the Adult and Teen Challenge Society has been running a treatment centre for the past 14 years.
But nothing has prepared them for what they have seen with the opioid crisis that rages in cities and towns right across North America, including Kelowna, Lake Country and anywhere else you may live.
“You can’t ignore the death toll and it shows no signs of slowing,” said Paul Chartier with the Adult Teen Challenge Society in Lake Country. “It’s in the middle class and the upper class and it threatens to go into our schools and universities.”
The society is now expanding its operation to be able to add beds to its clinic and has been an extension onto its current facility which has 22 beds, 18 of which are full right now. And to try to come up with some answers, the group is holding a community round-table event with local politicians as well as other groups such as Moms Stop the Harm.
“The drug problem, it’s simply turned into a game of Russian roulette,” said Chartier. “There’s a one-in-nine chance of having an unfortunate situation, where at the very least you will have to rely on an overdose kit.”
Chartier and others will gather to discuss the situation Thursday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. before breaking ground on their expansion. He said community groups need to join together to try and work for solutions and get people the help they need.
“You’ve got all these groups like Moms Stop the Harm and Freedom’s Door but I think we need to pool our resources and find where we agree and disagree,” he said. “We’re an abstinence program but we do agree that a lot of opioid addicts need to taper with methadone. We’re looking at working with facilities and maybe we can help them when they complete their taper.”
Adult Teen Challenge runs a faith-based abstinence program supported by donations from local church groups and other donations. Residents repair vehicles and sell them to help the bottom line and it also receives some B.C. government funding.
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