Lambton County politicians want a date for when a residential facility will be ready for people with drug and alcohol problems.
Deb Hook, Bluewater Health’s project manager for a new withdrawal management center, recently came to Lambton County Council to talk about the progress of the project which has been pushed by local politicians for over a decade.
Hook says it is clear there are “more youth, using more drugs more dangerously” in Sarnia-Lambton than other parts of the province and there is “an urgent need for help.”
Hook says seven people are now working with 31 clients in day programs, sometimes in their homes or at a central location. The programs help addicts understand the withdrawal symptoms they’re experiencing and provides coping measures.
“The plan was always to get the day and community programs up and running. We’ve also started to work with Windsor and London (withdrawal management centers) more efficiently,” says Hook.
As for the permanent local centre, Hook says “from my point of view, if the need (for the local centre) becomes more acute, I in discussion with CEO…I will come to you and tell you if the need is more acute,” she says adding Bluewater is “continuing looking for the appropriate place” for a centre.”
That answer infuriated Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley; “My biggest concern when Bluewater Health came on board was they would move forward and do a temporary solution and the residence won’t happen… that residential facility was what this was all about.”
Hook assured the politicians the residential centre is moving forward but it takes time. Bradley offered to help move the provincial government forward if necessary and urged the hospital to start the planning process on a piece of property.
And he wants a date for when the facility will be built. “We don’t need any water down message we need a clear commitment…a committed date.”