Canadian Drug Treatment Centers
Working in the UK, I remember how practitioners would refer to Canadian drug treatment as being on the cutting edge and being very effective in comparison to other countries. So why does Canadian treatment systems work?
In the UK most of the residential treatment centers I had the good fortune to work with, were government funded or at least partially contracted by local government to provide a certain amount of beds per year. They also had a very strict policy on hiring ex-users. There were limitations and guidelines on when and where you should hire an ex-user. This in itself is done with good intention but may lead to ex-users not engaging in the field. The treatment centers in the UK were however very good at what they did.
The experience I have had with Serenity Ranch, which I believe is a prime example of Canadian treatment, is almost surreal. The vast difference in working with a government-funded agency vs. a private treatment centre is astonishing. When it comes to government-funded facilities in the UK, you are very restricted in what you can deliver. You stick to the contract. If you want to incorporate any new ideas it needs to be approved by the funding bodies. I can understand why this needs to happen from the funder’s perspective, but from a client and practitioner perspective it is a difficult situation.
In comparing my experiences from the UK and Canada I have come to a few conclusions. Firstly, in a private residential setting in Canada, we are able to employ a balanced mix of experience based (qualified) and academic practitioners with little or no restrictions. We are also able to incorporate new and innovative ideas and technology into treatment. A good example of this is the introduction of the iPad 2 into our program.
What it boils down to is that thus far, Canadian private centers, such as Serenity Ranch, seem to be able to respond to client needs quickly and introduce new and innovate ideas without hesitation. If it works, we can use it. Our main program, like many centers is based on the 12-step model but we are able to provide much more on a moments notice. This is where the “cutting edge” comes into play and this is also where I believe the value and difference lies. Why follow if you can lead?
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