Recovery Resources

Options For Treatment & Support

Drugs, Alcohol and Mental Health

You might reach a point where you feel like the drugs are in control of you, rather than the other way around. Maybe you’re using in private, away from friends, and your life revolves around using substances to the point that other things like school, work or relationships are being negatively impacted. If so, you could be getting addicted, and addiction can often be linked with mental health problems.

There’s a risk that using drugs could make your mental health worse – or make you more likely to develop a mental illness.

There’s a strong link between cannabis use and paranoia and psychosis. Other drugs such as LSD and magic mushrooms (psilocybin mushrooms) can make you physically very ill or cause you to hallucinate or have flashbacks.

It is very important to remember that substance use can also result in losing your life. Officials say that in 2020, 1,144 people died of opioid overdoses in Alberta. This number does not include non-opioid related deaths. It also does not include secondary loss of life such as drinking and driving, or other accidents that occur while under the influence.

If you’re going to take drugs, it’s important to know what effect different types of drugs have on your body and how to use safely. It is also really important to be brave and ask for help when you need it.

Treatment services and supports can help you if you are experiencing harms from substance use or addiction.

  • Choices can include early identification and intervention, harm reduction approaches and relapse prevention.
  • Services can be offered with peer support, specialized treatment, continuing care and more.
  • Some services are available through public health care while others require private funding, and some are regulated according to standards while others are not.

Understanding that there is no one-size-fits-all treatment option is essential to providing the best possible care. By matching your unique situation with services that fit your needs, there is a better chance of recovery.

Treatment Options

There are numerous options for treatment depending on what a person’s needs may be. Some treatment options include:

Community Treatment

  • Can be offered in a variety of settings, such as at someone’s home, in a school or at the facility itself.
  • Will provide an assessment, ongoing counselling, developing skills to manage substance use related issues, and developing treatment goals.

Group Therapy

  • Typically offered within community based treatment facilities.
  • Meetings with a group of individuals who have similar concerns.
  • Discussions are usually around developing skills and strategies for managing addiction/substance use issues.

Case Management

  • A process where a person has a worker who is assigned to them for support.
  • Can include developing a treatment plan, linking them to services and monitoring their progress.

Residential or Inpatient Treatment

  • A more intensive treatment, where a person stays in a treatment facility 24 hours a day.
  • These programs can last from 21 days to several months.
  • Usually residential programs will offer group counselling, individual counselling, case management support, and family counselling if requested.
  • These facilities can be either public or privately funded, and wait times for residential treatment vary.

Day Treatment

  • Typically offers the same programming as residential treatment, but clients will go home towards the end of the day instead of staying overnight within the facility.

Pharmacological Treatment or Prescription Medication

  • For some addictions, medications such as Methadone may assist in the treatment process.
  • For more information on medical interventions, speak with your doctor.

12 Step Model Support/Recovery Groups

  • A free, peer based treatment program for people with substance use/addiction issues.
  • Participants follow a set of steps with the goal of abstaining from their substance of choice.
  • Groups can include: Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, etc.
  • There are also support groups for those with family or loved ones who are dealing with addiction.

Residential Withdrawal management (Detox)

  • A facility where a person is monitored to ensure that they safely get a substance ‘out of their system.’
  • These facilities can either be with or without the aid of medical interventions and discharge planning is provided.

Getting Help

Sometimes it can be hard to tell anyone what you’re using and how often. It is alright if you don’t want to and you can focus instead on letting them know the effect your drug or alcohol use is having on your life and the problems it is causing you.

Sometimes people might find it helpful to write their thoughts down to help you speak about them or to gain confidence to tell someone how you are feeling.

If you’re worried at all about your drug or alcohol use, it can help to talk to someone you trust about it. That could be a friend, parent, teacher or counsellor. If you’d rather not talk face-to-face, you can reach out through a helpline or chat support option.

Do you want to talk to a professional and get accurate information? Do you have a question or concern about your own patterns of substance use or of someone in your life? Are you worried and don’t know where to ask for help? Our substance use counselors can listen without judgement and help by providing information, teaching skills and strategies, or acting as a safe person and place to practice a conversation. Reach out today to see if this is right for you.
Click here to make an appointment!

Check out this page for more information on free youth mental health services that you or a loved one can access through our virtual clinic, Kickstand Connect.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact emergency services (9-1-1) now.