Skip to main content

The Meth Crisis - where does a person in meth psychosis go?

On Thursday March 22, I asked questions about the Meth crisis in Manitoba - and in particular about where a person with meth psychosis should go.  I learned recently, it is not easy to know where to go.   The text of my questions and the Minister's responses are below.  They are also available on a video at this link - Meth Crisis - where to go for help?    For more information and follow up see the story at this link. 

Health Sciences Centre - Beds for Methamphetamine Patients

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, January 24th, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, as described in the Winnipeg Free Press, said since mid-January, the WRHA has opened an additional six mental health beds at the Health Sciences Centre to address the growing numbers of patients presenting to emergency departments with severe consequences of meth use.
      This action was in response to the death of Windy Sinclair, who went to Seven Oaks emergency room for help with meth toxicity. She died December 28th without getting help.
      Can the minister report today on how the extra six beds at the Health Sciences Centre are helping to deal with the meth crisis?
Hon. Kelvin Goertzen (Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living): Madam Speaker, we know that not just in Manitoba, but in many places in Canada, in fact, in North America, the incidence and use of methamphetamine is growing to difficult rates and alarming rates for those who are working within the health‑care and the addictions system.
Certainly, I've had the opportunity to meet with many who've been impacted, family members, those within the health-care system. We know that there needs to be new strategies and new plans developed to deal with this issue which continues to grow across North America and we continue to work with our experts within the system to develop those plans, Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker: The honourable member for River Heights, on a supplementary question.
Mr. Gerrard: Madam Speaker, I report today that an individual with meth addiction and meth psychosis went to the Health Sciences Centre on March the 8th for help. He was told that the six beds for helping those with meth toxicity did not exist. He was turned away. He tried the Main Street Project. They would not accept him because he was in meth psychosis. He tried the crisis stabilization unit, which also would not accept him. He returned to the Health Sciences Centre once more. He was told that the six beds to help people with meth toxicity do not exist. The individual was so upset by the lack of help he almost committed suicide.
      I ask the minister: How many more people will die before this minister will act?
Mr. Goertzen: Madam Speaker, there is no doubt that the issue of methamphetamine, but not just methamphetamine–when it comes to opiates and addiction more generally, let's never forget that one of the greatest addictions that we have in Manitoba is still alcoholism, which I know too much about from my own family history.
      There are many things that need to be done. There are many things that are being done. We know that there are new and developing strategies across North America to deal with methamphetamine and other addictions. We are in tune with those different strategies. We're listening to the advice from experts, including Dr. Rush and the VIRGO consulting group which will report by the end of this month for a strategy in Manitoba, and we look forward to implementing those strategies, Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker: The honourable member for River Heights, on a final supplementary.
Mr. Gerrard: Madam Speaker, Windy Sinclair's death December 28th was a very, very strong message to Manitobans that action was needed to ensure a safe place for people with meth psychosis to go for help.
      The WRHA advertised in an article in the Winnipeg Free Press on January 24th that it had such a place, and now we find that the government's health system could not be trusted when it spoke.
      I ask the minister: What will he do to restore the trust in the health system? How many more people must die before the minister acts?
Mr. Goertzen: Well, Madam Speaker, I say with some regret that I've learned to not trust everything that this member brings to the floor of the Legislature. We are certainly all honourable members, I know, but in fact-checking some of the things in the past that he's brought here, they've proven to be not quite as he's presented in the House.
      But what certainly is true, Madam Speaker, is that methamphetamine and other addictions across Manitoba, Canada and North America are becoming more difficult. We know that and we know that there'll continue to be challenges across the spectrum of addictions.
      We've been meeting not with just experts, but with families. We're hearing from experts. We will hear from VIRGO and Dr. Rush in terms of his recommendations for Manitoba within a week and then we'll release that report publicly sometime after that, and we look forward to implementing the recommendations that he brings forward.




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Nurse Practitioners need to be involved and considered in health care planning

Nurse Practitioners are a key part of ensuring we have an excellent health care system.  Some progress was made under the NDP government, but there was not a clear and continuing plan for the integration of nurse practitioners into health care delivery.   One step forward was the implementation of seven quick care clinics, five in Winnipeg, which were run by nurse practitioners.  There was also a gradual increase in nurse practitioners in access centres and a slow increase in nurse practitioners being involved in rural centres where there were no physicians.   Sadly, the Pallister PCs  are closing 4 of the 5 quick clinics in Winnipeg, have ended the Hospital Home Team, are closing the Corydon Primary Care Clinic and have terminated the positions of more than 20 nurse practitioners.  While some will get new positions, there will be a net  loss of nurse practitioner positions - the opposite of what it needed.

While I have considerable concerns about aspects of the Peachey report, one it…

We must stop the Pallister government from implementing the KPMG proposed cuts to children's hearing aids, bone-anchored hearing implant processors and FM transmitters.

The Phase II report from KPMG on the Health System Sustainability and Innovation Review makes a recommendation that the government decrease the level of provincial support for children's hearing aids, for bone-implant processors and FM transmitters.    These are devices which are very important for enabling children with hearing difficulties to hear.   We have recently (2016) finally achieved universal newborn hearing screening after many years of advocating for this.   It is essential that children who are identified at birth as hearing deficient have the support for enable them to hear as good as they can hear with the support of hearing aids and Cochlear implants.  When children have a hearing deficiency, they have difficulty hearing and this translates into difficulties learning and often to behavioural and other problems down the road.  We need to ensure that these children are enabled to do well.   The provincial government should definitely not reduce support for this progr…

Critical changes to Child and Family Services are needed to better support families: Minister Fielding needs to act

This morning, in front of the Manitoba Youth Centre, I called for improvements to the current Child and Family Services system to provide much better support for families.   My press release is below. 
Gerrard calls upon Family Services Minister to decrease child apprehensions by immediately developing an integrated family support approach to CFS
Today, at the Manitoba Youth Centre, Manitoba Liberal Party leadership contestant Jon Gerrard called for urgent action by Scott Fielding, Minister of Family Services, to change policies which would shift the paradigm from a focus on child apprehensions to an integrated approach to support families.
Citing the success in Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (NCN) in Nelson House and by Westman CFS in Brandon -- both use an integrated service delivery approach for families -- Gerrard said, "It is time to put the ‘families’ back in the Family Services Department and ensure they receive much stronger, consistent, and individualized help so that children…