Pubdate: Fri, 04 Mar 2016
Source: Metro (Calgary, CN AB)
Copyright: 2016 Metro Canada
Author: Jeremy Simes
Page: 10


Though there's growing call for more youth-addiction and detox beds,
the number of Calgary youth treated in Alberta Health
Services-provided beds hasn't changed much.

In 2015, 398 youth were admitted to AHS beds, a seven per cent
decrease from 428 admissions in 2013 - when the number peaked. In
2010, 385 Calgary Zone youth were admitted.

The government's mental health review plans to immediately open three
new youth detox beds at Hull Services.

Though the numbers seem to flatline, Associate Health Minister Brandy
Payne said beds are gravely needed.

She said the Mental Health Review increased detox beds based on the
patterns of usage across Alberta.

Calgary, in particular, had longer wait-times for placements, Payne

AHS said there are 19 AHS funded residential and detox spaces for
children and youth, adding there are nine beds under the Protection of
Children Abusing Drugs Act.

Rick Lundy, founder of Open Arms Patient Advocacy Society, said the
numbers may not paint the entire picture.

"I know that treating addictions is very difficult, and a lot of the
youth get frustrated with the system," he said. "It could be youth
trying to get help and then getting frustrated and just giving up on
the system."

Julie Kerr, the AHS senior operating officer of Community, Rural and
Mental Health for Calgary Zone, said the utilization of detox beds is
limited by the numbers of beds available in areas.
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