Kenora's Managed Alcohol program is expanding.

The program is operated out of the Lake of the Woods District Hospital's Morning Starcentre, and is funded by the Local Health Integration Network. The program provides individuals with a safe and secure living situation to physically stabilize, relearn basic skills and reconnect with the community and their families.

The Managed Alcohol Program includes physician prescribed alcohol, specialized physician care, mental health and addictions counselling, nutrition, and support from the Morningstar Centre staff. The program aims to help with reducing contact with police, emergency department visits, hospital admissions, overall health care costs, and improve participant’s quality of life.

Bruce Siciliano, vice president of community programs at Lake of the Woods District Hospital, discusses the program.

“To be able to offer a harm reduction program, and actually have people stay in a residential, withdrawal management centre for a long period of time, and not hit the streets, and to wrap hospital services around a hospital based program. What we're doing is really quite unique,” he said.

Patients enter the program voluntarily. Siciliano notes the lifestyle of the clientele that the program serves.

“A lot of the people that we serve in the Morning Star Centre aren't able to keep housing. A lot of the people require specialized services before they can move onto housing. When they begin to detox around 6:30 in the morning, 7 in the morning, they hit the street. They need to score alcohol, hair-spray, any kind of alcohol derivative,” he said.

Renovations were made to the Morningstar Centre and additional staff were hired to house and support the program. Sicilliano notes that he has met with the University of Victoria, as they are very interested in the program, and that the success of the program, has even been surprising to him.

“It just makes me really happy to see how well these patients are doing. I'm just amazed, and I still can't wrap my mind around that we're serving wine in a detox centre, and it's working,” he said.

The program currently has 5 patients, and the goal is to progress to 10 patients.

Northwestern Ontario has some of the highest rates of alcoholism in the province. 

For more information: 

Managed Alcohol Program in Kenora begins

Kenora's Managed Alcohol Program getting started

LOW Hospital to provide managed alcohol program

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