Recovery Behind the Mask
One year ago, few had heard of Covid-19: today few have not been touched by it in one way or another.
In Alberta (Canada), where Fresh Start Recovery Centre operates, our community has been deeply impacted both directly and indirectly and chances are you have been greatly affected by this pandemic.
Given these challenging times, your support has been even more significant, and we are grateful to you for this support.
In our business of housing, treating and supporting people affected by addiction, we have not experienced and direct impact; to date we have not experienced any cases of Covid-19 in our treatment centres*1 thanks to the measures we have been able to take with support from your donation and guidance by Alberta Health Services.
Rat Park Author – Bruce K. Alexander - is quoted as saying that “The opposite of addiction is not sobriety; it’s connection”. Physical and often social isolation have created an environment whereby people have not been able to interact in a meaningful way, have felt a heightened level of emptiness and discontent and turned to drugs and alcohol as a way of coping with this. Over time, this coping mechanism has developed into a habit and the disease of addiction.
Fresh Start has seen growing evidence of this as the pandemic has progressed. Over the past year, Fresh Start’s wait list of people wanting treatment for their disease of addiction has gone from pre-pandemic averages close to 120 to a count of 217 on March 11, 2021 … that is almost an 81% increase over the “norm”.
Since November of 2020, our bed capacity grew from 50 beds to 73 with the addition of Fresh Start South Country in Lethbridge. In 2019, we were able to provide treatment to 167 men and in the period between March 11, 2020 and March 11, 2021, the added capacity in Lethbridge allowed us to treat 179 men.
Rough numbers indicate a completion rate around 80% for this same “Covid-19 period”; something that we have been able to maintain with your help and the help of others in the GlobalGiving community and beyond.
While we have treated people as young as 18 and as experienced as 65 in this period, our mean (36 years), median (34 years) and mode (34 years) has remained consistent.
We continue to be grateful for you and your support as we continue to successfully house, treat and support those affected by addiction.
Wayne Steer, Director of Fund Development
*1 – In Calgary with the addition of Lethbridge on November 3, 2020.