Expanding and Enhancing Addiction Treatment in London

Photo of Mission Services of London's Executive Director, Peter Rozeluk“As far as I know, there has not been a single death in emergency shelters because of COVID-19–not a single one,” says Peter Rozeluk, Executive Director of Mission Services of London. “Part of that was because the City of London had the foresight to have isolation and monitoring spaces for people staying in shelter. I will forever praise the City for doing that.

“But London continued to have opioid overdose deaths, so that, in a sense, was and continues to be, an even greater crisis than COVID-19 in the emergency shelter system,” Peter explains. “That’s why more treatment beds are needed to be provided to people struggling with addictions”.

As part of the Ontario government’s Addiction Recovery Fund, Quintin Warner House will receive $584,000 each year for the next two years for additional addiction treatment beds, doubling its capacity from 10 to 20 beds.

Throughout his time with Mission Services of London, Peter has noticed that addiction recovery is a long process. “Once you complete the treatment program, your work is just beginning; it’s just the beginning of maintaining sobriety”. For this reason, an expansion of aftercare programming will coincide with the additional treatment beds.

A unique feature of the aftercare program is the option for program graduates to live in one of two Annex houses for up to one year. While living in an Annex house, graduates continue to access support from their addiction counsellor which may include help finding employment or following educational pursuits.

“That’s what makes us special and different from other treatment programs. The Annex is supportive housing and provides graduates with a good reintroduction to the community.

“Our goal is for the Annex to be short-term housing; it’s a transition. We want to make sure that graduates are healthy and that their recovery is going well while continuing to provide the tools they need to be successful. We really want to see them thrive in the community after that,” says Peter.

When the Quintin Warner House treatment program moves to its new location at 457 York Street, the building it previously occupied will become a third Annex house.

Peter also hopes that the expansion of Quintin Warner House will help manage the long wait lists for addiction treatment across the province. “It’s a four-month program and we have 10 more beds. So, every four months, we have double the capacity to reduce wait lists. It’s a cycle.

“We have double the ability to help people deal with their addiction challenges,” Peter declares. “It’s exciting!”

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