Recent History – 2004 and beyond
By Lee Kaiser, 13 April 2006
Another grassroots movement is forming to push for a detox centre in the Northeast. Dawson Creek resident Karen Campbell has placed petitions in at least half a dozen locations around the city asking that Northern Health fund a 10-bed detox and rehabilitation centre where addicts could stay both before and after a stay at a treatment centre. It’s important it be staffed with medical personnel and be used for transition into the community.
“The kind of place I want is where (addicts) can go and stay there for the two or three weeks while they detox, go to treatment after, and come back to the same building but in a different area of the building to rehabilitate into the community. Addicts are often at risk because they don’t have permanent homes to return to,” Campbell said.
“This is something I want facilitated through Northern Health because it is a Northern Health issue. I would like to see nurses on staff and counsellors – people that can help these people… be a respectable person back in our community,” said Campbell.
She’s collected 200 signatures so far but says she won’t stop until there are at least 5,000 to present to the health authority and area politicians including MLA Blair Lekstrom, MP Jay Hill, and Mayor Calvin Kruk.
“If I can get that many signatures for Dawson Creek alone and if it gets out to Fort St. John and Chetwynd they have to look at it,” she said. “I just decided talk’s cheap… but how do you get action?”
Campbell’s petition is in addition to efforts by Drug Free D.C. and an ad hoc group to get a detox centre and safe house funded through taxpayers’ money. As a longtime resident, Campbell said she’s seen the destruction first-hand that drugs and alcohol can cause.
“I’ve seen a lot of people’s families affected whether it be from alcoholism, drug abuse…. and I do know from talking to friends of mine that have issues that sometimes it’s a very small window between them using and them seeking help… They may think ‘I’d like to get clean, I wish there was a place to go.'”
“There’s nothing in the Northeast in the way of a detox centre.”
She said there are two beds at the hospital available to addicts who are “a risk to themselves or others,” Campbell said.
“Sometimes nobody’s a risk, they just want to get help.”
The petitions have been placed at the Tempo car wash, Physiques Fitness, Dawson Creek Aboriginal Family Resources Society, Blue Cross Safety, the Nawican Friendship Centre, and at the Hillcrest General Store in Pouce Coupe.