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Treatment & Support Services Project
Final Report

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February 2010
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TREATMENT AND SUPPORT


SERVICES
PROJECT REPORT

February 2010

Catherine R. Bruyere

Edward Yerxa

For

The Treatment and Support Services Project

Couchiching First Nation


Funding Provided By:

Health Integration Envelope


Aboriginal Health Transition Fund
First Nations and Inuit Health Branch
Health Canada

© Couchiching First Nation 2010

Couchiching First Nation


R.M.B. 2027, R.R. #2
Fort Frances, Ontario
Canada
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I am pleased to present ³7KH7UHDWPHQWDQG6XSSRUW6HUYLFHVProject 5HSRUW´7KLVGRFXPHQW


is groundbreaking research on the substance abuse treatment needs of select Aboriginal
communities in the Rainy River District. This report represents the combined efforts of the staff
of the Treatment and Support Services of Couchiching First Nation, the membership of
Couchiching First Nation and our district Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal partners.

For too long, Aboriginal communities have had definitions of need imposed on them by
government and external institutions. In this report, we examine our own substance abuse
issues within the context of our own constructs of family, community and culture. The report also
contains recommendations resulting from community focused dialogues with grass roots
Aboriginal community members.

I want to commend Couchiching First Nation for initiating this project. In late 2007, Couchiching
conducted a community assessment which revealed the depth of drug abuse in the community.
The findings were disturbing and strengthened our resolve to seek solutions to a problem
endemic among our young adults. &RXFKLFKLQJ¶VOHDGHUVKLStook a stand against prescription
drug addiction and established the Treatment and Support Services (TSS) to coordinate
resources and planning to meet the drug abuse challenge.

Once the TSS was formed, it became evident the drug issue is not unique to Couchiching. It is
a problem affecting all segments of the Aboriginal community, both on and off-reserve. This
prompted TSS to invite other Aboriginal communities, First Nation and urban, to participate in a
study to examine the scope of the problem and to identify SHRSOH¶VWUHDWPHQWQHHGVSome First
Nations chose not to participate and Couchiching went forward with those Aboriginal
communities that responded favourably to the invitation. The TSS mandate and goals were
amended to reflect the wider focus. The Project¶VPDQGDWHEHFDPH³WRLPprove the physical,
mental, spiritual and social well-being of Aboriginal residents of the Rainy River District, and
their families.´ Its goals were revised to include identifying ways to increase Aboriginal
participation in treatment services planning, delivery, management and policy development, as
well as, to improve Aboriginal access to treatment services.

I want to recognize the role the Technical Working Group (TWG) played in providing
professional expertise to the project. The TWG included representation from Couchiching First
Nation; the Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing First Nation (Big Island); the Gizhewaadiziwin Health
Access Centre; the Rainy River District Substance Abuse Prevention Team; the Northwestern
Health Unit; the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH); Ontario Region of the First
Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Health Canada and, the Northwest LHIN (ex officio). Without
its sustained and focused effort, this work would not have been possible. I want to thank the
individual TWG members for their personal contributions to the research. Your guidance is
greatly appreciated and acknowledged. I also want to thank their respective Boards and First

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1DWLRQV¶ &RXQFLOV IRU WKH VXSport they showed in appointing them as representatives to the
TWG.

As Project Coordinator, I brought to the table some 30 years of experience in social services
including 20 years of direct work in the field of addictions and treatment. I am indebted to my
many teachers who helped shape my professional philosophy, ethics, and practice. These
teachers also guided me in my human journey. They helped me to know who I am, helped me
get in touch with my potential and gave me the tools to do the work. I am grateful for their
contribution to both my professional and personal life.

I did not complete this project on my own; I was part of a team. Together, we were able to do
collectively so much more than any one person could hope to do on their own. Each member of
the Treatment and Support Service project team brought their own unique capabilities and
background to the project. All rose to the occasion and made my role as Project Coordinator
more defined and focused. They formed the SURMHFW¶Vfoundation and I would be remiss if I did
not thank them for their work.

First, I want to acknowledge Percy Bird who was with us in 2007 during WKH LQLWLDWLYH¶V early
development. Percy helped to conceptualize the project and he was instrumental in helping us
acquire its developmental funding. He has also been a skilled resource GXULQJ WKH SURMHFW¶V
implementation.

Darren Harper was a member of the project team until November 2009. I want to acknowledge
his part in accessing project funding and his role as Technical Advisor to the team. I appreciate
his many contributions and wish him well in his new endeavours with other projects.

Cathie Bruyere acted as the tHDP¶V Needs Assessment Consultant. She was indispensible
during the project¶V LPSOHPHQWDWLRQ Her qualifications and impressive resume includes health
policy development and health planning at the tribal, territorial, national and government level.
With her specialized knowledge in community health development, she helped design the
project methodology. She also provided informed critique throughout the project¶V
implementation and she framed this project report.

I want also to acknowledge Ida Linklater for her role as the project¶VAdministrative Assistant. As
the project expanded and its activities widened in their reach, influence and affect, Ida acted as
a consistent central hub for all our activity. Her sound management of all the project¶V
administrative tasks kept us on a steady forward course. We could not have proceeded without
her valuable support and expertise.

I would be remiss if I did not give heartfelt thanks to all the Elders that participated in the project.
Through their guidance, culture was not just a component of the project but rather, it defined the
project. The Elders ensured culture played a central role in all of the Treatment Support
Services tHDP¶V DFWLYLWLHV 7KH (OGHUV DQG GUXP ZHUH SUHVHQW DW DOO project sponsored
community gatherings. The Elders were instrumental in guiding the youth program agenda. The
project acknowledges both the youth and Elders as a valuable resource to the project.

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I also want to thank our funder ± the Integration Envelope, Aboriginal Health Transition Fund,
Health Canada. Ontario Region and Thunder Bay Zone of the First Nations and Inuit Health
Branch believed in the project and demonstrated faith, confidence and support in our ability to
deliver what we proposed. The project strengthened our working relationship with them. This
relationship will continue into the future as we work collectively to achieve the strategic goals set
before us by the project and the Aboriginal communities.

The project methodology was critical to the project¶V successful outcome. It required us to
HQJDJHSHRSOHLQGLDORJXHDERXWUHDOLVVXHVWKLQJVWKH\GRQ¶WQRUPDOO\WDON about. Focus group
participants, as well as, those who engaged the project team in informal dialogue provided
indispensible insights into the realities of their life circumstances. People openly shared their
thoughts, feelings, fears and hurts about events occurring in their homes and communities.
Their level of openness is a testament to our strength and resilience as a people.

It was a challenge for the project tHDPWRPHOGWKHUDZGDWDZLWKVQDSVKRWVRISHRSOH¶VUHDO life


struggles, fears and experiences. Central to the process was the creation of an environment of
safety, trust and respect which allowed community members to share their very personal
stories. This sharing only occurred because the project team respected and dignified their
human experience in a nonjudgmental accepting manner. People shared because they wanted
others to learn from their OLIH¶VMRXUQH\DQGbecause they have hope in a better future for their
families and communities.

As you read this report, please remember the statistics presented are more than mere numbers.
They represent the life realities of your neighbours, friends, or family members. The statistics
are the emotional bruises and experiences of real people - real survivors.

I want to acknowledge the support the Couchiching leadership provided to the project. They
were there to lobby with government and they were present in meetings with the community. As
with all community initiatives, the leadership plays a vital role in determining the project¶V
outcome. Without the support of leaderships, an initiative will fail. For the most part,
&RXFKLFKLQJ¶V Council and senior management gave me a free hand to move the project
forward. Their belief in the project gave us confidence. I feel humbled by their level of trust. I
thank them for all they have done for the project.

On a personal note, in all my employment history, I have never had the opportunity to work in
my home community. I was uncertain in the beginning how things would play out. Now, I
believe my apprehension was more about the gravity and enormity of the work ahead of us. As
the tasks became more defined, I found the pURMHFW¶V DFFRPSOLVKPHQWV exceeded all my
expectations,

It is &RXFKLFKLQJ¶VLQWHQWLRQWhat this report benefits all Aboriginal people. The report contains a
series of recommendations for future action. There is also other information within the body of
the document that will be of value to all concerned stakeholders. This report may be used by
those Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal service providers and funders who desire to improve the
social environments of the Aboriginal service population.

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This is an exciting time for the Aboriginal participants of the project. We have a very powerful
document that can be a vehicle for change. It was our goal to generate a report that would be
user friendly for everyone. We wanted a document that gives the average community member
a voice. It is a tool which effectively captures the issues and presents a true representation of
the reality and consequences of substance abuse in the Aboriginal community and in the
District.

In closing, please accept my thanks on behalf of the project team for the opportunity to serve
our Aboriginal people and community through this innovative work. I can speak for the team
when I say that it is truly an honour to do this kind of work.

Chi-Miigwetch!

Ed Yerxa, Coordinator
Treatment and Support Services Project

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Albert Calder, NNADAP Worker,


Couchiching First Nation
Issac Big George, Community Wellness
Acknowledgements Worker, Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing
Michelle Ott, Program Consultant, Provincial
Services ± Northern Ontario, Centre for
This document was developed by the Addiction and Mental Health
Treatment and Support Services Project, Lynne Baxter, Manager, Addictions, Ontario
sponsored by Couchiching First Nation. Region, First Nations and Inuit Health
The Project Team consisted of Ed Yerxa, Branch, Health Canada
Project Coordinator; Darren Harper,
Technical Advisor; Catherine R. Bruyere, Couchiching Community Advisory
Needs Assessment Consultant; and Ida Committee:
Linklater, Project Administrator. The Project
was undertaken with the guidance and Donna Perrault
assistance of the Couchiching Chief and Debbie Fairbanks
Council, the Community Advisory Eileen Jourdain
Committee and the Technical Working Albert Calder
Group. Nicole Perrault Morrisseau
Shelly Morrisseau
The Project Team would like to thank:
Our Partner First Nations/Aboriginal
Elder: Bessie Mainville, Couchiching First Organizations:
Nation
Mishkosiimiiniiziibig (Big Grassy River)
Couchiching Band Council & Staff: First Nation Band Council & Staff:
Chief Charles McPherson Chief Caroline Copenace
Councillors: Councillors:
Christine Jourdain Debra Whetzel
Nick Mainville Lynn Indian
William Perrault Roy Tom
Clint Perrault Chris Jack
Richard Bird Gary Tuesday

Staff: Staff: Dennis Copenance


/RXLV³6PRNLH´%UX\HUH%DQG0DQJHU
Dale Morrisseau, former Band Manager Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing (Big
Val Norris, Band Financial Officer Island) First Nation Band Council & Staff:
Susie Jones, Finance Clerk
Aleta Bruyere, Finance Clerk Chief Wesley Big George
Councillors:
Technical Working Group: Robert Handorgan
Carl Big George
Shanna Weir, Executive Director,
Gizhewaadiziwin Health Access Centre Staff:
(Chair) Val Pizey, Governance Advisor
Hugh Dennis, Coordinator, Rainy River Elaine Jourdain, Health Director
Substance Abuse Prevention Team Issac Big George, Community Wellness
Becky Holden, Health Educator, North Worker
Western Public Health Unit Joanne Cobiness, NNADAP Worker

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Mitaanjigaming (Stanjikoming) First Gordie Calder, Senator


Nation Band Council & Staff:
Staff:
Chief Janice Henderson Charmaine Langlais, AHWS Coordinator,
Councillors: Métis Nation of Ontario
Pamela Johnson
Paul Henderson Rainy River District Aboriginal
Addictions Needs Assessment
Staff: Surveyors:
Alex Cochrane, Community Wellness
Worker Couchiching First Nation:
Chasmine Nastiuk
United Native Friendship Centre (Fort Debbie Fairbanks
Frances) Board of Directors & Staff April Bruyere
Tara Yerxa
Richard Bruyere, President
Armand Jourdain Sr., Vice-President Mitaanjigaming (Stanjikoming) First Nation:
Richard Bird Alex Cochrane, Community Wellness
Gerri Yerxa Worker
Darren Woods
Donna Bird Anishinaabeg of Naongoshiing:
Debbie Fairbanks Issac Big George, Community Wellness
Worker
Staff: Joanne Cobiness, NNADAP Worker
Sheila McMahon, Executive Director Mishkosiimiiniiziibig (Big Grassy River) First
Mandy Olsen, YMAC Coordinator Nation
Natalie Donaldson, Assistant YMAC Danika Tom
Coordinator
Anne Sinclair, Lifelong Care Coordinator United Native Friendship Centre:
Janet Lee, Care Support Worker Mathew Calder, Receptionist

Atikokan Native Friendship Centre Board Sunset Country Métis:


of Directors & Staff: Charmaine Langlais, AHWS Coordinator,
Métis Nation of Ontario
Sandra Sedor, President
Rick Stanley, Vice-President Atikokan Native Friendship Centre:
Debra Bruyere, Treasurer Bonnie Plourde, Board Member
Fay Clark Terry Sabean, Akwe-go Worker
Mary Makarenko
Marie Veran Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
(CAMH):
Staff:
Delores Veran, Executive Director Dr. Louis Gliksman, Director, Social,
Phyllis Barr, Lifelong Care Worker Prevention and Health Policy Research
Jacqueline Boileau, Wasa-nabin Worker Department
Brenda Newton Taylor, Research Associate
Sunset Country Métis Board of Directors II/Project Manager
& Staff: Kathleen Larion, Research Assistant
Marisa Selig, Manager, Research Contracts
Clint Calder, President Claudio Rocca, Manager, DATIS
Mona Morrisseau, Operations Centre

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Michelle Ott, Program Consultant, Provincial Fort Frances Tribal Health Services Inc.:
Services ± Northern Ontario Eileen Gagne, Manager, Counselling Unit

Treaty #3 Policing: Atikokan Community Counselling Services,


Atikokan General Hospital:
William (Bill) Horseman, Records Susan Girard, Program Manager
Management, Auditor Candace Green, Gambling Counsellor
Brad Ricci, Addictions Counsellor
Weechi-it-te-win Child and Family
Services: Riverside Community Counselling Services,
Riverside Health Care Facilities Inc.:
Debbie Leonard, Director of Administration Jeff Tillbury, Addictions Counsellor
Rodger Chaison, Systems Administrator
Changes Recovery Homes Inc.:
Substance Abuse Treatment Programs: Connie Mellon, Executive Director

Migisi Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Ontario Addiction Treatment Centres:
Centre: Dr. Michael Varenbut, Co-Executive
Ruben Wasacase, Executive Director Director

Sister Margaret Smith Clinic, St. -RVHSK¶V Addiction Foundation of Manitoba:


Care Group: Rick Drennar, Supervisor, Impaired Drivers
Nancy Black, Program Manager, Mental Program, Methadone intervention and
Health, Addictions & Problem Gambling Needle Exchange Program, Drug Testing,
Amy Rubino Start, Intake Worker, Youth Collection Site
Addiction Services Wayne Whalen, Supervisor, Adult Male
Marla Hollingsworth, Intake Worker, Adult Programs, James Toal Centre
Addiction Services Heather Darrach, SupervLVRU:RPHQ¶VDQG
Family Programs
Morning Star & MECCA, Lake of the Woods Laurie Magee, Methadone Intervention and
District Hospital: Needle Exchange Program (M.I.N.E.) Ron
Patti Dryden-Holmstrom, Program Manager Linklater, Prevention and Education
± Community Services Consultant, Problem Gambling Services
Dr. Sandra Saas, Methadone Specialist,
MECCA First Nations and Inuit Health Branch,
Kim Jones, Methadone Support Worker, Health Canada:
MEECA
Valerie Gideon, Regional Director, Ontario
Crossroads Centre Inc.: Region
Lisa Govier, Counselling Director Jamie Adams, Zone Director, Thunder Bay
Zone
Mental Health and Addictions Outreach, St. Billie Jean Benisty, Senior Policy Advisor,
-RVHSK¶V&DUH*URXS: Ontario Region
David Engberg, Manager, Lakeview Ida Campbell, Director, Non-Insured Health
Methadone Clinic. Program, Ontario Region
Marnie Mitchell, Regional Pharmacist,
Dilico Treatment Services: Ontario Region
Karen Marano, Addiction Services Manager Lynda Roberts, Project Manager, Addiction
Cheryl Bagnall, Intake Worker and Accreditation, Ontario Region
Michelle Solomon, Team leader Lynne Baxter, Manager, Addictions, Ontario
Laurel Vescio, Aftercare Worker Region

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Aboriginal Health Transition Fund, Focus Group Participants:


Health Canada:
Yeshodara Naidoo, AHTF Program We want to acknowledge all of the Elders,
Manager/Policy Analyst youth, women and men who participated in
our 18 focus groups.
Program Evaluation and Performance
Measurement Services, Government 6HUYLFH3URYLGHUV¶)RUXP
Consulting Services, Public Works and
Government Services Canada: We would like to acknowledge all of the
local service providers who attended the
Melanie Barrieau, Evaluation Consultant 6HUYLFH3URYLGHUV¶)RUXP

North West Local Health Integration


Network:

Laura Kokocinski, Senior Director, Planning,


Integration, and Community Engagement
Karen Peterson, Senior Planning and
Community Engagement Consultant
Corey Russell, Epidemiology and Decision
Support Consultant

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Table of Contents
Forward

Acknowledgements

Chapter 1: Treatment and Support Services Project..............................................................1

Introduction......................................................................................................................1

Project Overview..............................................................................................................2

A. Goal.................................................................................................................2
B. Objectives.......................................................................................................2
C. Project Catchment Area................................................................................2
D. Methodology...................................................................................................2

Phase I: Needs Assessment...........................................................................................3

A. Community Based Survey.............................................................................3


B. Focus Groups.................................................................................................4
C. Health and Social Impact Review.................................................................4
D. Treatment System Mapping..........................................................................5
E. Literature Review..........................................................................................6
F. Service Provider Forum................................................................................6
G. Strategic Recommendations.........................................................................6

Phase II: Implementation................................................................................................7

A. Development of Community-Specific Addiction Treatment


Strategies........................................................................................................7
B. Prioritization and Follow-up on Report Recommendations.....................7

Chapter 2: Socio-Demographic Characteristics......................................................................8

Introduction......................................................................................................................8

Basic Demographics.......................................................................................................8

A. Sample Composition.....................................................................................8
B. Marital Status..................................................................................................8
C. Children...........................................................................................................8
D. Education........................................................................................................9
E. Household Composition................................................................................9
F. On and Off-Reserve Residency...................................................................9
G. Employment Status........................................................................................9
H. Occupations.................................................................................................10
I. Income...........................................................................................................11

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J. Aboriginal Status and Cultural Background.............................................11


K. Ancestral Language, Knowledge and Use................................................11

Chapter 3: Substance Abuse Prevalence................................................................................13

Introduction....................................................................................................................13

Alcohol............................................................................................................................13

A. Drinking History...........................................................................................13
B. Drinking Frequency and Consumption......................................................15
C. Drinking Location and Context...................................................................18

Marijuana........................................................................................................................22

Cocaine...........................................................................................................................23

Illicit Drugs (Excluding Marijuana, Cocaine and Opiates)........................................24

Opiate Use......................................................................................................................26

A. Prescription Opiate Use..............................................................................26


B. Illicit Opiate Use (Without a Prescription).................................................27

Injection Drug Use.........................................................................................................28

Tobacco..........................................................................................................................28

Chapter 4: Trends in Prescription Central Nervous System Drug Use Amongst Four First
Nations in the Rainy River District........................................................................31

Introduction....................................................................................................................31

Utilization of Central Nervous System Drugs.............................................................31

A. Trends in Narcotic Use...................................................................................32


B. Trends in Acetaminophen and Codeine Use...............................................34
C. Trends in Percocet and Generics Use.........................................................35
D. Trends in Oxycontin Use...............................................................................35
E. Trends in Long-Acting Narcotic Use............................................................38
F. Trends in Methadone Use..............................................................................39
G. Trends in Benzodiazepine Use.....................................................................39
H. Trends in Stimulant Use.................................................................................42

Client Safety and Prescription Monitoring..................................................................43

A. Pillar 1 ± Warning Messages to Pharmacists............................................43


B. Pillar 2 ± Rejection Messages Regarding Drug Therapy Pattern...........44
C. Pillar 3 ± Client and Program Level Trend Analysis.................................44

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D. Pillar 4 ± Drug Use Evaluation Committee.................................................45

Chapter 5: Aboriginal Substance Use: Causation and Protective Factors..........................47

Introduction....................................................................................................................47

Causation.......................................................................................................................47

A. Unresolved Historical Trauma....................................................................47


B. The Indian Residential School Experience................................................50
C. Intergenerational Substance Abuse...........................................................54
D. Mental Health and Psychological Distress................................................55
E. Child Abuse/Neglect....................................................................................57
F. Low Self-Esteem..........................................................................................57
G. Interpersonal Issues....................................................................................57
H. Escapism......................................................................................................58
I. Prejudice and Discrimination.....................................................................58
J. Peer Pressure...............................................................................................59
K. Boredom & High Cost of Participation.......................................................60
L. ³&KDVLQJWKH+LJK´......................................................................................61

Protective Factors.........................................................................................................62

A. Parental Influence........................................................................................62
B. Drug Education and Awareness.................................................................63
C. Personal Goals.............................................................................................64
D. Hobbies, Sports or Alternate Activities.....................................................65
E. Cultural Values.............................................................................................65
F. Public Perceptions.......................................................................................65

Chapter 6: Impact of Substance Abuse...................................................................................67

Introduction....................................................................................................................67

Harmful Effects of Substance Use...............................................................................67

A. Alcohol ± Own Use.......................................................................................67


B. Alcohol ± )DPLO\0HPEHU¶V8VH.................................................................68
C. Drugs ± Own Use.........................................................................................69
D. Drugs ± FamLO\0HPEHU¶V8VH....................................................................69

Physical and Mental Health..........................................................................................70

A. Rainy River District Aboriginal Substance-Related Hospitalization


Data...............................................................................................................70
B. Perceived Personal Health Consequences of Substance Abuse........71

Family Dynamics and Functioning..............................................................................74

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Denial, Enabling and Co-dependency.........................................................................75

The Impact of Substance Abuse on Aboriginal Children.........................................77

A. Substance Abuse in the Home...................................................................77


B. Children as Victims of Substance Abuse..................................................78

Childhood
Abuse..............................................................................................................................80

A. Childhood Assaults by Family Members...................................................80


B. Childhood Assaults by Non-Family Members...........................................81

Child Welfare System....................................................................................................81

Violence and Victimization...........................................................................................82

A. Substance Abuse as a Factor in Criminal Activity...................................82


B. Substance Abuse and Physical, Psychological and/or Sexual
Assaults.......................................................................................................84
!" Domestic Violence...........................................................................84
!!" Violence by Other Person(s) Living in the Home ± Victims of
Physical Assault...............................................................................86
!!!" Acquaintance Violence....................................................................87
!#" Community Perceptions of Substance Abuse Violence..............88

Inter-generational Cycle of Substance Abuse............................................................90

Chapter 7: Substance Abuse Treatment.................................................................................93

Introduction....................................................................................................................93

Overview ± Substance Abuse Treatment Services....................................................93

A. Provincially-Funded Substance Abuse Treatment...................................93


B. Federally-Funded Indian and Inuit Treatment...........................................96
C. Private for-Profit Treatment........................................................................97

Availability of Substance Abuse Treatment Services in the Rainy River District...97

A. Provincially-Funded Substance Abuse Programs....................................97


B. Federally-Funded Substance Abuse Treatment Programs......................99

Gaps in the Availability of Substance Abuse Treatment Services in the Rainy River
District............................................................................................................................99

A. Withdrawal/Management (Detox)................................................................99
B. Residential Treatment Level 1 & Level 2..................................................99
C. Residential Medical/Psychiatric Treatment.............................................100

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D. Residential Supportive Treatment Level 1 & Level 2.............................100

Aboriginal Treatment Service Utilization...................................................................101

A. Rainy River District Aboriginal Addiction Needs Assessment Survey


(RRDAANAS)..............................................................................................101
B. Aboriginal Use of Provincially Funded Treatment Services FY2007-
2008.............................................................................................................104
C. First Nation Utilization of Federally Funded NNADAP Treatment
Centres........................................................................................................119

Factors That Led Aboriginal People to Seek Treatment.........................................119

A. Enhance Personal Well-Being..................................................................119


B. Recognition of the Harm Being Caused to Others................................120
C. Children ± A Strong Motivation Factor....................................................121
D. Negative Life Event...................................................................................122
E. Peer Pressure.............................................................................................122
F. Financial Problems/Job Issues.................................................................122
G. 7R,PSURYH2QH¶V)XWXUH...........................................................................123
H. Recognition that Life Had Become Unmanageable and Change Was
Needed........................................................................................................123
I. Negative Motivating Factors....................................................................123

Chapter 8: Perceived Barriers to Treatment........................................................................125

Introduction..................................................................................................................125

The Aboriginal Needs Assessment Survey...............................................................125

Focus Groups..............................................................................................................127

A. Personal Issues ± Denial...........................................................................127


B. Personal Issues ± Unwilling to Quit Alcohol and/or Drugs....................127
C. Personal Issues ± Not Thinking Treatment Will Help.............................128
D. Personal Issues ± Thinking you can handle the problem or you can
control your using......................................................................................129
E. Personal Issue ± Fear................................................................................129
F. Personal Issue ± Stigma............................................................................130
G. Family Issue ± Lack of Family Support....................................................131
H. Family Issue ± Family Responsibilities....................................................132
I. Family Issue ± Fear of Losing Your Children..........................................132
J. Peer Issue ± Loss of Friendship...............................................................133
K. Systems Issue ± Lack of Awareness of Treatment Options..................133
L. Systems Issue ± Cost of Treatment.........................................................134
M. Systems Issue ± Funding Support and Quality of Care........................134
N. Systems Issue ± Waiting Lists..................................................................135

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O. Systems Issue ± Distance to Treatment..................................................135


P. Systems Issue ± Treatment Admission Policies.....................................136
Q. Systems Issue ± Perceived Ineffectiveness of Community Workers..137
R. Systems Issue ± Lack of Youth Treatment Options...............................138
S. Systems Issue ± Lack of Gender-Specific Treatment............................139
T. Systems Issue ± Lack of Child Care.........................................................140
U. Systems Issue ± Lack of Cultural-Based Treatment..............................140
V. Systems Issue ± Low Retention Rates.....................................................141

Chapter 9: Treatment Service Elements................................................................................143

Introduction..................................................................................................................143

Pre-treatment..............................................................................................................143

A. Pre-Treatment Assessments.....................................................................143
B. Lack of Awareness of the Referral Process............................................145
C. Pre-Treatment Medical Assessments......................................................146

Treatment.....................................................................................................................147

A. Withdrawal Management/Detox................................................................147
B. Methadone Maintenance Therapy............................................................148
C. Out-Patient Treatment...............................................................................150
D. Residential Treatment...............................................................................150

Post-Treatment............................................................................................................151

A. Aftercare Planning.....................................................................................151
B. Lack of Transitional Housing....................................................................154
C. Lack of Service Coordination...................................................................155

Aboriginal Defined Treatment Services....................................................................155

A. Intervention.................................................................................................156
B. Intake and Assessment.............................................................................156
C. Residential Treatment...............................................................................157
D. Aftercare Program.....................................................................................161
E. Transitional Housing.................................................................................162

Chapter 10: Cultural-Based Treatment.................................................................................164

Introduction..................................................................................................................164

Culture in the Study Communities.............................................................................164

A. Participation in Cultural Events/Ceremonies.........................................164


B. Traditional Spiritual Leadership/Mentorship..........................................166
C. Importance of Traditional Aboriginal Culture and Teachings...............167

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Culture and Substance Abuse Treatment.................................................................169

A. Perceived Importance of Culture in Treatment.......................................169


B. Rationale for Culturally-Based Treatment...............................................169
C. Role of Elders in Substance Abuse Treatment.......................................170
D. Cultural Programming...............................................................................173

Cultural-Based Treatment versus Culturally-Appropriate Treatment.....................175

Aboriginal Control and Ownership............................................................................176

Chapter 11: Strength and Resilience.....................................................................................178

Introduction..................................................................................................................178

Our People....................................................................................................................178

Family...........................................................................................................................179

Cultural Preservation and Resilience.......................................................................179

Communities................................................................................................................179

Aboriginal Identity.......................................................................................................179

Leadership....................................................................................................................180

Willingness to Heal......................................................................................................180

Recommendations..................................................................................................................181

Leadership....................................................................................................................181

Treatment.....................................................................................................................182

Aftercare.......................................................................................................................184

Prevention/Health Promotion/Education..................................................................186

Training.........................................................................................................................187

Enforcement.................................................................................................................188

Investment in Aboriginal Community Strengths......................................................189

Substance Abuse Service Collaboration, Coordination and Integration..............190

Special Needs of the Métis.........................................................................................191

Aboriginal Substance Abuse Funding.......................................................................192

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Selected
References...............................................................................................................................193

Appendices..............................................................................................................................200

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Chapter 1: The Treatment and Support
Services Project
"
Introduction:

In the fall of 2007, Couchiching First Nation, situated outside of Fort Frances, Ontario became
concerned about wide-spread opiate abuse in the community. Following consultations with
community service providers, the First Nation conducted a community-based survey to
determine the scope of the problem and to identify community readiness to address the issue.
Of 140 surveys distributed, 104 were returned. The survey found: 74% of respondents believed
alcohol abuse continues to be a problem in the community; 91% believed illegal drugs were a
problem and 94% believed prescription drug abuse is a problem. The survey also found the
abuse of illicit drugs, prescription drugs and over-the-counter medication was extensive.
Seventy-six (76%) of respondents reported using marijuana and 75% reported using cocaine.
Ninety-five percent (95%) of respondents reported using opiates to get high while 65% reported
abusing codeine-based drugs.

The survey also found the community was ready to address the substance abuse issue. Ninety-
four (94%) supported the development of a residential treatment centre. Fifty-nine percent
(59%) believed substance abuse treatment should be based on traditional cultural values and
norms. Eighty-two percent (82%) said they believed &RXFKLFKLQJ¶VVXEVWDQFHDEXVHSUREOHPV
are not unique and are shared by other First Nations.

&RXFKLFKLQJ¶V Oeadership decided to pursue establishing a residential treatment facility. To


HQVXUH WKHWUHDWPHQW FHQWUH¶VIHDVLELOLW\ &RXFKLFKLQJ )LUVW 1DWLRQ determined a more in-depth
study of the of the Aboriginal opiate and substance abuse problem across the District was
needed. It also felt it was important to involve other First Nations and Aboriginal people in the
treatment facility development process. Three (3) First Nations, in addition to Couchiching First
Nation, agreed to participate in the Project along with three (3) urban-based Aboriginal
organizations. In the fall of 2008, Couchiching secured funding from the Integration Envelope,
Aboriginal Health Transition Fund to examine the prevalence of the substance abuse problem,
to assess the existing treatment services capacity to respond to the problem, and to develop
recommendations for enhancing Aboriginal involvement in the design, delivery and evaluation of
drug and alcohol treatment services. The Treatment and Support Services Project was
established in September 2008 and is expected to conclude in September 2010.

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Project Overview:
A. Goal:

The goal of the Treatment and Support Services Project is:

ƒ to improve the physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being of Aboriginal residents of the
Rainy River District, and their families, suffering from a drug and substance abuse problem.

B. Objectives:

Its objectives are:

ƒ to improve the Aboriginal access to Drug and Substance Abuse Treatment Services;

ƒ to increase Aboriginal participation in the design, delivery and evaluation of Drug and
Substance Abuse Treatment Services;

ƒ to ensure Drug and Substance Abuse Treatment Services are better suited to meet the
needs of Aboriginal people; and

ƒ to improve the integration of federal and provincial funded Drug and Substance Abuse
Treatment Services.

C. Project Catchment Area:

The Treatment and Support Project involves four (4) First Nations ± Big Island (Anishinaabeg of
Naongashiing), Big Grassy River (Mishkosiimiiniiziibig), Mitaanjigaming (Stanjikoming) and
Couchiching. It also includes the Métis population affiliated with the Sunset Country Métis (Fort
Frances, Emo, Rainy River and Atikokan) and the urban Aboriginal population serviced by the
United Native Friendship Centre in Fort Frances and the Atikokan Native Friendship Centre. All
of the aforementioned groups participated in the Rainy River District Aboriginal Addiction Needs
Assessment Survey. While the survey was restricted to these populations, some of the service
utilization data included in this report includes all First Nations within the Rainy River District.

D. Methodology:

The Treatment and Support Services Project is a phased initiative. Phase I involves the
development and implementation of a comprehensive Needs Assessment and the preparation
of strategic recommendations based on Phase I findings. Phase II, which will follow the release
of this report, involves the prioritization and implementation of strategic recommendations from
the Phase I Report.

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Phase I: NEEDS ASSESSMENT:

The Project Team designed a multi-faceted Needs Assessment which included both primary
and secondary qualitative and quantitative research. The purpose of the Needs Assessment
was to identify, to the extent possible, the scope of the substance abuse problem within the
participating Aboriginal communities, as well as, its impact on individuals, families and
FRPPXQLWLHV$QLPSRUWDQWUROHRIWKH1HHGV$VVHVVPHQWZDVWRVROLFLWFRPPXQLW\PHPEHUV¶
views about substance abuse treatment and its effectiveness in meeting the treatment needs of
individuals with substance abuse problems and their families.

A. Community Based Survey:

The Project Team approached the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) to brief them
on the Project and to obtain implementation advice. Following discussions with CAMH, a
decision was made to partner with them on the implementation of a community-based
household survey in the participating First Nations and in the urban communities of Fort
Frances and Atikokan. The survey enabled the Project to obtain quantitative data on the
prevalence of substance abuse and to identify how Aboriginal people interact with the
substance abuse treatment system. CAMH was contracted by Couchiching First Nation to
assist in the design of the survey and to train surveyors. It was also contracted to do the data
entry, analyze the survey data and to prepare reports on survey findings. The reports included
an aggregate of the findings of the survey and community-specific reports.

The Project Team also approached the North West LHIN to solicit their involvement and support
of the Project. The North West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) agreed to facilitate
access to provincial health utilization data and, in exchange for including LHIN questions related
to addiction and mental health service utilization in the survey, it helped off-set survey costs.
The survey was implemented in the summer of 2009. It was administered to adults over 18
years of age and youth aged 15 to 17 with parental consent. As an incentive, respondents were
given $10.00 for a completed survey. To ensure confidentiality, respondent completed the
survey themselves and placed the survey into a manila envelope which they sealed.

The sealed envelopes were returned, unopened, to the Project office by the surveyors. The
unopened envelopes were then forwarded to CAMH in London, Ontario for data entry and
analysis.

Twelve (12) surveyors were hired and trained to conduct the survey. A total of eight hundred
(800) surveys were printed and seven hundred (700) distributed. Six hundred and four (604)
were returned to the surveyors and forwarded by Project staff to CAMH for data entry and
analysis. Twenty-six (28) surveys were identified by CAMH as unusable. The total overall
response rate, excluding unusable surveys, was 82.6 per cent. Community-based surveys
which achieve an overall response rate of 30 per cent of the solicited population are considered
successful. The response rate of 82.6 per cent is considered exceptional.

$"
"
The community-based survey results have been published in a report entitled The Rainy River
District Aboriginal Addiction Needs Assessment Survey1. Readers are encouraged to read
the report for further information on survey methodology and more detailed survey results. The
report is included as an appendix of this document. The findings of the report have been used
extensively in the preparation of this report.

B. Focus Groups:

A series of eighteen (18) focus groups were held to obtain the views of targeted members of the
Aboriginal community. Some focus groups were community-specific while others occurred
regionally.

Seven (7) Elder focus groups were held - one in each First Nation, one in each Friendship
Centre and one with Métis Elders. Aboriginal Elders were identified for inclusion because of
their life experience and their knowledge of the traditional cultural values and norms of the
Aboriginal community.

Because Aboriginal youth are most at risk for substance abuse, seven (7) youth focus groups
were held; one in each of the four participating First Nation, each of the two Friendship Centres
and with the Sunset Country Métis.

Substance abuse impacts men and women in different ways. It was therefore necessary to
examine Aboriginal substance abuse and treatment from the perspective of both genders. Two
gender-specific regional focus groups were held.

To obtain the perspective of Aboriginal people who had been through substance abuse
treatment, a regional focus group was targeted to former and/or current treatment system
clients. A separate regional focus group was also held for Aboriginal clients of Methadone
Maintenance Therapy (MMT).

The Focus Groups were facilitated by Project Staff and flip chart notes and staff notes taken at
each session. Specific questions were asked of each focus group depending on the type of
participants. At the end of each session, participants evaluated the session. Some sessions
were audio recorded. A written report was prepared on each focus group for research reference
and for future inclusion in the community reports. Over 100 individuals participated in the focus
groups.

C. Health and Social Impact Review:

The Treatment and Support Services Project identified the need to quantify the impact of
substance abuse on the Aboriginal populations through District and community-specific
statistics. The lack of agency databases and the lack of Aboriginal-specific data hindered the
data collection process. Several agencies indicated SULYDF\ DQG KXPDQ ULJKWV¶ OHJLVODWLRQ

%"
"
prevented them from collecting ethnicity-based data. Nonetheless, the Project was able to
obtain some Rainy River District First Nation-specific data. This included:

x Policing data from the Couchiching Detachment, Treaty #3 police;

x First Nation child welfare data from Weechi-it-te-win Child and Family Services; and

x First Nation Prescription Drug Utilizations data from the Non-Insured Health Benefit
Program, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Health Canada.

The Project Team also reviewed substance abuse research to identify the health and social
impact of substance abuse on the First Nations and Métis populations in Canada.

D. Treatment System Mapping:

The Project Team used a multi-faceted approach to examine the substance abuse treatment
system.

Treatment Service Identification:

First, the Team did a review of what substance abuse treatment services were available to
Aboriginal people both within and outside the District. Both provincially-funded and federally-
funded treatment services were documented.

Aboriginal Treatment Service Utilization:

Second, the Team reviewed Rainy River District resident Aboriginal treatment service utilization
patterns. Working with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the Team reviewed
Aboriginal treatment information from the Drug, Alcohol and Treatment Information System
(DATIS) operated by CAMH. DATIS collects and reports client demographic and service
utilization data from addiction and problem gambling (provincial) funded agencies.

Aboriginal client demographic and service information was also sought from the National Native
Alcohol Drug Abuse Program (NNADAP), First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Health Canada
for federally-funded First Nation treatment facilities. The Project Team was advised by Health
Canada NNADAP lacks a national client information system. Each NNADAP treatment program
would have to be contacted directly to obtain the desired information. Letters were sent in
September 2009 to all NNADAP treatment centres and healing lodges in Ontario requesting
aggregate non-identifying statistical information on clients from Rainy River District First
Nations. The data requested paralleled that captured in DATIS to facilitate comparability. The
letters were followed-up with telephone calls to some of the treatment facilities. None of the
NNADAP treatment centres have been able to accommodate the PURMHFW¶Vinformation request.
Several of the facilities said they lacked an internal client management system which could
provide the detailed information on client utilization the Project requested. While some of the
data could be collected through a file review, the centres reported they lacked the manpower
and resources required to do this.

&"
"
Treatment Centre Key Informant Interviews:

The Project Coordinator and Needs Assessment Consultant visited thirteen (13) treatment
programs to obtain an overview of their treatment services, to discuss Aboriginal service
utilization and to identify service provider perspectives on Aboriginal treatment service gaps and
recommendations. Some of the sites offered more than one type of service. The programs
visited included three (3) out-patient counselling services, one (1) withdrawal management
program, three (3) methadone clinics, four (4) residential treatment centres, and three (3)
supportive housing services. One (1) agency declined the invitation to meet and responded by
e-mail.

There were twenty-four (24) addiction professionals involved in the on-site visits. Questions
presented to the treatment programs included what programs they provided, what are the
demographics of the Aboriginal clients who use their facility, how culturally-competent their
VHUYLFHV DUH¶ ZKDW GR WKH\ EHOLHYH DUH $ERULJLQDO WUHDWPHQW QHHGV DQG JDSV DQG ZKDW
recommendations they have for addressing those needs and gaps.

E. Literature Review:

Approximately, one-hundred (100) documents on addiction, particularly in relation to indigenous


populations, were reviewed in connection with the project. These included international,
national, provincial addiction research reports; reports on different treatment modalities and
studies on best practice. Where appropriate, these documents were used in the preparation of
this report.

F. Service Provider Forum:

A forum involving local health and social service providers was held in October 2009. The
preliminary results of the Needs Assessment were presented. Participants were asked to share
their perspective on Aboriginal addiction treatment issues and needs. They were also
encouraged to share recommendations for service improvement and enhancement. One of the
key results of the forum was a stated commitment on behalf of those present to work with the
Treatment and Support Service Project on Phase II Implementation.

G. Strategic Recommendations:

Recommendations contained in this report were developed with the participation of the
Technical Working Group during meetings held in December 2009, January and February
2010.

'"
"
Phase II: Implementation:

Phase II of the Treatment and Support Service Project will follow the release of this report. Like
the Phase I Needs Assessment, the next phase will be multifaceted.

A. Development of Strategic Recommendations:

The Treatment and Support Services Project has made a commitment to the participating First
Nations and Aboriginal organizations to work with them on the development of community-
specific addiction treatment and prevention strategies. Using non-identifying data from the
Rainy River District Aboriginal Addiction Needs Assessment Survey Report and qualitative
information from the focus groups, the Treatment and Support Services Team will develop a
series of First Nation and organization-specific reports. These reports will be designed to
generate dialogue and discussion amongst community members, service providers and leaders
on how best to address local addiction issues. It is hoped through the development of the
community-specific strategies, short, medium and long-term approaches for addiction
prevention and enhanced service delivery will result.

B. Prioritization and Follow-up on Report Recommendations:

The Rainy River District Aboriginal Addiction Needs Assessment Survey Report and the Rainy
River District Aboriginal Addiction Treatment Needs Assessment Report will be used to promote
and encourage dialogue of report findings and to establish a District-wide forum for the further
prioritization and implementation of report recommendations. As noted, the Service Providers
Forum held in October 2009 has already generated interest in the reports and a commitment for
continued Aboriginal community and agency discussion of service improvement.

"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
1
Newton-Taylor, B. & Larion, K. (2009) Rainy River District Aboriginal Addiction Needs Assessment
Survey Report Toronto, ON Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

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"
Chapter 2: Socio-Demographic
Characteristics
Introduction:

The following is an overview of the socio-demographic characteristics of the Treatment and


6XSSRUW6HUYLFHV3URMHFW¶VVWXG\VDPSOH7KHVDPSOHZDVGUDZQIURPWKHIRXU  )LUVW1DWLRQV
(Couchiching, the Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing, Mishkosiimiiniiziibig and Mitaanjigaming) and
the urban Aboriginal population affiliated with the three (3) community service sites (the Fort
Frances United Native Friendship Centre, the Atikokan Native Friendship Centre and the Sunset
Country Métis). For information on how the study sites and survey sample were selected, the
UHDGHU LV HQFRXUDJHG WR UHDG WKLV UHSRUW¶V FRPSDQLRQ GRFXPHQW ±The Rainy River District
Aboriginal Addiction Needs Assessment Survey.1

Basic Demographics:
A. Sample Composition:2

There were six hundred and four (604) surveys returned to the Project of which five hundred
and seventy-eight (578) were usable and represent the survey sample.

Forty-three percent (43%) of the survey sample were men and 57% were women. On average,
respondents were 36 years of age. Women were slightly older (mean = 36.3) than men (mean
35.5 years.) Youth aged 15 to 17 comprised 10% of the survey respondents. Almost half of the
respondents were between the ages of 25 to 49 years (47%). Young adults between 18 to 24
years of age represented 22% of the sample, as did those ages 50 and older.

B. Marital Status:3

Most respondents were married/cohabitating (46%). Forty-two percent (42%) were never
married singles. The remaining 12% were separated, divorced or widowed. Even though 45%
of both men and women were married/cohabitating, a higher percentage of women respondents
were separated, divorced or widowed (15% and 8%). A higher percent of men reported being
single (47% and 39%).

C. Children:4

Overall, respondents reported having two children (mean = 2.1 children). When those with no
children were factored out, respondents were found to have an average of 3.0 children. There
were no statistically significant gender differences in the number of children, according to the
survey report. However, a higher percent of men than women reported having no children (38%

!"
"
and 21%). Women and men were equally as likely to report having one or two children.
Women were more likely to report having three or more children (42% and 29%). Of those with
minor children under the age of 17 years, 31% reported that their children did not live in their
home. Men were significantly more likely to report not having their children living with them than
women (43% and 24%).

D. Education:5

Forty-one percent (41%) of respondents indicated that they had not completed secondary
school. Of the remaining respondents, 15% stated that they had graduated high school, 23%
had some post-secondary education, and 21% had completed their post-secondary education
(e.g. college, trade/technical programs, or university). Men were more likely to report lower
levels of education, while women were more likely to report higher levels of education. Forty-
eight percent (48%) of men reported not graduating secondary education, compared with 26%
of women. Twenty-eight percent (28%) of women reported graduating from a post secondary
education institution, compared with 12% of men.

E. Household Composition:6

On average, there were 3.4 people living in the homes of the survey respondents. Less than
10% of respondents lived alone. Almost half of respondents (47%) reported there were three or
four people living in their home. Twenty-two percent (22%) reported there were five or more
people living in their home. However, there were statistically significant gender differences in
the household composition of some homes. Men and women were equally as likely to report
living with a spouse or partner (54% and 51%), and having other family members living with
them (38% and 30%). Other family members included: siblings, grandparents, grandchildren,
aunts, uncles, cousins, or in-laws. Women were significantly more likely to report the presence
of children in the home than men (62% and 35%). Men were significantly more likely to report
parents living in the home (37% and 24%). The presence of other family members in the
residence may be due to cultural values related to extended families or may be due to housing
shortages in some communities.

F. On and Off-Reserve Residency:7

Over half of the survey respondents reported living on-reserve (55%). Men were significantly
more likely to report living on-reserve than women (63% and 49%). Of those living off-reserve,
61% reported living in an urban area. Even though men were more likely to report living in
urban areas than women (68% and 57%), these differences were not significant.

G. Employment Status:8

The Needs Assessment Survey Report indicates that less than 50% of survey respondents
reported being employed whether full or part-time (48%) while 30% reported being unemployed.
Fifteen percent (15%) of respondents were students and 14% were retired, disabled, or not in
the workforce for other reasons. There were statistically significant gender differences in
employment status. Women were more likely to report being employed than men (51% and

#"
"
43%) while men were more likely to report being unemployed than women (41% and 22%).
Women were also more likely to report being students (18% and 10%). There were no reported
gender differences in the percent of men and women who were retired, disabled or not in the
workforce for other reasons (20% and 13%).

Fifty-five percent (55%) of all respondent spouse/partners were employed full or part-time.
However, the spouses/partners of women were more likely to be employed than the
spouses/partners of men (60% and 49%). Twenty-four percent (24%) of the spouses/partners
of unemployed respondents were employed. Of those who were retired, disabled or not in the
workforce for other reasons, 16% had spouses/partners who were employed full or part-time.
Five percent (5%) of respondents who said they were students had a spouse/partner who was
employed. There were minimal gender differences for these latter groups.

H. Occupations:9

The highest percent of all respondents reported their usual occupation was in health care, social
services, education or managerial professions (38%). Twenty-three percent (23%) were
unskilled and 16% semi-skilled. Fourteen percent (14%) worked in sales/services/ clerical
occupations and 11% worked in skilled trades. Women were more likely to report employment
involving health care, social services, education or managerial occupations (57% and 14%).
Women were also more likely to work in sales, services or clerical occupations (19% and 8%).

Chart 1 shows the usual occupations of survey respondents by gender and percentage.

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I. Income:10

The majority of survey respondents said their income was based on employment (63%). This
was followed by social assistance (25%), employment insurance (11%) and other sources of
income, primarily pensions (13%). Men were more likely than women to report employment
insurance as the primary source of family income (16% and 8%). There were no significant
gender differences for other sources of income.

Thirty-five percent (35%) of all respondents estimated their annual household income was less
than $20,000 per year. Another 26% reported their annual household income was between
$20,000 and $39,999 per year. Eighteen percent reported an income of between $40,000 and
$59,999, and 22% reported an annual household income of $60,000 or more. There were no
significant gender differences in the estimated amount of annual household income.

The Needs Assessment Survey showed that higher income levels were associated with higher
levels of education, employment in professional occupations and full-time employment. Lower
levels of education were associated with lower income, employment in unskilled or semi-skilled
professions, or being unemployed.

J. Aboriginal Status and Cultural Background:11

Of the total sample, 73% were Registered Status Indians, 5% were Non-status Indians, and
22% were Métis. The survey reported that there was no statistically significant difference in
Aboriginal status between men and women.

Seventy-five percent (75%) of respondents indicated they were Ojibway and 25% indicated they
were Métis. Since the survey questionnaire allowed for multiple responses, there were several
other cultural backgrounds identified including: Cree, Chippewa, Sioux, Oji-cree, Dene,
ShawneH0L¶NPDTDQG0RKDZN However, these were most often mentioned in addition to, or
in combination with Ojibway or Métis.

K. Ancestral Language, Knowledge and Use:12

Ninety-one percent (91%) of respondents reported that their ancestral language was Ojibway.
The remaining 9% listed other Aboriginal language which corresponded to the other cultural
backgrounds identified.

Fourteen percent (14%) indicated that they could fluently speak their ancestral language.
Thirty-two percent (32%) said they could understand their ancestral language when it was
spoken but they could not speak it themselves. Fifty-four percent (54%) of respondents could
neither speak nor understand their ancestral language. There were no significant differences in
fluency by gender.

Statistically, there were significant differences in language comprehension and fluency by age
group. Of the 14% who said they were fluent in their ancestral language, 43% were aged 50 or
older while 45% were between the ages of 25 to 49. Four percent (4%) were aged 15 to 17
years.

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Thirty-eight percent (38%) indicated that their ancestral language was the language used most
often in the home when they were a child. Even though a majority of respondents stated they
use English most predominately in daily life (88%), 11% said they used their ancestral language
most often in daily life.

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Chapter 3: Substance Abuse
Prevalence
Introduction:
Prevalence is an estimate of how common a condition is within a population over a certain
period of time. As a measure, it allows health professionals and health service planners to
determine the likelihood of a population having a certain disease or illness. In this chapter, the
prevalence of substance abuse in the respondents to the Rainy River District Aboriginal
Addiction Needs Assessment Survey (RRDAANAS) is examined. The analysis is based on
participant responses to a series of questions. The substances examined include alcohol,
marijuana, cocaine, other illicit drugs such as opiates and tobacco.

Where possible in this report, survey results were compared with the general Canadian
population using data in the Canadian Addiction Survey 2005.1

Alcohol:
Alcohol is the psychoactive substance most commonly used by Canadians, including Aboriginal
people.

In the Rainy River District Aboriginal Addiction Needs Assessment Survey (RRDAANAS)2
respondents, aged 15 and over, were asked about five measures of alcohol use including
drinking history, lifetime and past year drinking and abstinence, drinking frequency,
consumption patterns and compliance with low risk drinking guidelines.

A. Drinking History:3

Ninety-six percent (96%) of respondents reported having used alcohol at some time in their
lives. There was no significant difference in percentage of men and women reporting lifetime
use (96% and 95%).

The rate of lifetime abstinence was 4%. Women were slightly more likely to be lifetime
abstainers than men (5% and 4%). In the Canadian Addiction Survey (2005), Canadians had a
lifetime abstinence rate of 7%.4 The Canadian rate of lifetime abstinence was 1.7 times that of
respondents in the RRDAANAS.

Chart 2 shows the age when RRDAANAS respondents said they had their first drink (excluding
occasional sips). On average, respondents had their first drink when they were 13.7 years old.
This compares to respondents in the Canadian Addiction Survey (2005) who reported having
their first drink when they were 15.6 years.5

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Of those who used alcohol in their lifetime, 29% said they had their first alcoholic drink when
they were age 12 or less; 32% were 13 to 14 years of age, and 28% were 15 to 16 years of age,
11% were age 17 or over.

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The age of alcohol initiation is important because it is an indicator of potential alcohol disorders
later in life. Research indicates that approximately 40% of those who start drinking at age 14 or
under develop alcohol dependence at some point in their lives.6 Age of initiation also can be
used to target and evaluate alcohol prevention efforts.

:KHQDVNHG³How old were you the first time you were drunk"´RIrespondents who drank
in their lifetime said they were 12 or less years of age; 30% said they were 13 to 14 years old;
31% said between ages 15 and 16 and 17% said when they were 17 years of age or older. The
average age IRUUHVSRQGHQW¶VILUVWLQWR[LFDWLRQZDVDJHG\HDUV Chart 3 shows there was
no significant difference between men and women across or within the age groups.

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B. Drinking Frequency and Consumption:

More Canadians (34%)7 than Needs Assessment Survey respondents (31%) drank one to three
times a week. A greater percentage of Canadians (10%)8 than Needs Assessment Survey
respondents (9%) drank four or more times a week.

In the 12 months before the RRDAANAS, 71% of the respondents had consumed alcohol and
ZHUH³IRUPHUGULQNHUV´7KLVFRPSDUHVWRWKHRI&DQDGLDQVZKRUHSRUWHGGULQNLQJLQ
the 12 months prior to the Canadian Addiction Survey (2005) and the 14% of Canadians who
ZHUH LGHQWLILHG DV ³IRUPHU GULQNHUV´9 The number of Needs Assessment survey respondents
FODVVLILHGDV³IRUPHUGULQNHUV´ZDs twice that of the Canadian rate.

The RRDAANAS provides information about how often and how many drinks respondents drank
and the extent to which they engage in high-risk drinking patterns.

Chart 4 shows the Canadian and 1HHGV$VVHVVPHQW6XUYH\UHVSRQGHQWV¶IUHTXHQF\RIDOFRKRO


consumption. Results show that Needs Assessment Survey respondents drank less often than
did the Canadian population. Of those who currently drink, 34% of the Needs Assessment
survey respondents reported drinking less than once a month compared to 23% of the
Canadian population.10 Fewer Needs Assessment respondents than Canadian Addiction
Survey respondents drank one to three times a month (26% and 33%11).

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Slightly more women (28%) reported drinking one to three times per month than men (24%).
Significantly more males (40%) than women (24%) drank one to three times a week.12 More
men than women reported drinking daily or almost daily (11% and 7%).

The average number of drinks consumed per week by respondent past year drinkers was 12.5
drinks. Men consumed on average significantly more drinks per week (16.8) than women (9.2).

Of those who reported drinking in the past year, 60% reported drinking 1 to 7 drinks per week.
Forty-six percent (46%) of men past year drinkers consumed 1 to 7 drinks per week compared
to 72% women. Needs Assessment Survey women respondent past year drinkers drank 1 to 7
drinks per week at a rate 1.58 times higher than men respondents.

Chart 5 shows the number of drinks consumed per week by age and gender.

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In Ontario, the legal drinking age is 19 years old. Of past year drinkers, youth 15 to 17 years of
age reported drinking 6.1 drinks on a weekly basis. Men respondents in this age group drank
significantly more than their female counterparts drank (10.3 and 3.2 drinks per week).

The 18 to 24 age group of past year drinkers, on average, consumed more alcohol per week
than any other age group (14.3 drinks per week). Men respondents 18 to 24 years drank
significantly more than women respondents of the same age (16.3 and 12.4 drinks per week).

Past year drinkers in the 25 to 49 age group consumed only slightly fewer drinks on a weekly
basis than those aged 18 to 24 (12.1 to 14.3 drinks per week). Men in this age group consumed
significantly more drinks per week than women in the same age group (14.9 drinks per week
and 10.0 dinks per week).

In the 50+ age group, past year drinkers consumed on average 8.7 drinks per week. Men
consumed significantly more drinks as did women in the same age group (13.1 and 5.8 drinks
per week).

Wechsler et al. defines heavy drinking as having five drinks or more on a single occasion for
men, and four or more drinks on a single occasion for women.13 Rates of heavy drinking
amongst the Aboriginal population in the RRDAANAS were alarmingly high. Most Aboriginal
people who report drinking in the past year were heavy drinkers. Many were frequent heavy
drinkers.

!D#
#
Eighty-eight percent (88%) of past year drinkers reported having drank over 5 drinks on one
occasion. Ninety-three percent (93%) of men past year drinkers reported drinking in excess of 5
drinks on one occasion. This is in comparison to 84% of women respondents.

Forty-seven percent (47%) of past year drinkers reported having drank 5 to 7 drinks on one
occasion once a month or more. Sixty percent (60%) of men drank 5 to 7 drinks once a month
or more while 36% of women consumed 5 to 7 drinks once a month or more.

Of those who reported drinking in the past 12 months, 36% of respondents reported having
drank 8 or more drinks on one occasion once a month or more. Significantly more men drank 8
or more drinks on one occasion once a month or more than did women (52% and 24%).

Low risk drinking is defined as no more than 2 standard drinks on any one day or up to nine
standard drinks per week for women and up to fourteen standard drinks per week for men.

On average, past year drinkers drank 12.5 drinks per week. Men past year drinkers drank
significantly more drinks per week that did women past year drinkers (16.8 and 9.2 drinks per
week). Male youth, aged 18 to 24, were the most likely to exceed low risk drinking guidelines
(16.3 drinks per week). Women past year drinkers in the 18 to 24 age group also exceed the
guidelines as did women in the 25 to 49 age group (12.4 and 10.0 drinks per week).

C. Drinking Location and Context:

Past year drinkers were PRUH OLNHO\ WR GULQN DW DIULHQG¶V home (71%), at home (65%) or at a
party DW VRPHRQH¶V KRXVH (60%) than at a licensed premise (57%). On average, past year
drinkers drank at more than one location (mean number of locations 2.5). When they drank at 3
or more locations, they were likely to consume more alcohol (16.7 drinks) than when they drank
at 1 to 2 locations (8.9 drinks).

Men were likely to consume more drinks on average per week when they drank at home (20.7
drinks per week) RUDIULHQG¶VKRXVH(19.9 drinks per week) than they did when they drank at a
party (17.4 drinks per week) or a licensed premise (17.2 drinks per week).

Like men, women were more likely to GULQNDWDIULHQG¶VKRPH 9%), at home (65%) than at a
party or licensed premise (58% and 59%). Like men, women, on average, drank at more than
one location (mean number of locations 2.5). When they drank at 3 or more locations, women
consumed over twice the amount of drinks (12.8 drinks) than they consumed at only 1 or 2
locations (6.3 drinks).

Regardless of location, on average, men exceeded the weekly safe drinking standard of 14
drinks per week for men (17.2 drinks per week to 20.7 drinks per week). Women drank just
over the safe drinking standard for women of 10 drinks per week (10.2 drinks per week to 11.5
drinks per week).

In the 15 to 17 age group, youth on average drank more drinks at home (11.8 drinks) than they
did DWDIULHQG¶VKRXVH  drinks RUDWDSDUW\DWVRPHRQH¶VKRXVH  drinks).

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Chart 6 shows the mean number of drinks 15 to 17 year old men and women consumed by
location.

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)("*7#+89*?6*O+$'&.+%
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GULQNV  RU DW D SDUW\ DWVRPHRQH¶V KRXVH GULQNV   )HPDOH\RXWKLQ WKH VDPHDJHJURXS
drank slightly PRUHZKHQWKH\GUDQNDWDSDUW\DWVRPHRQH¶VKRXVH(3GULQNV RUDWDIULHQG¶V
house (3.2 drinks) than they did at home (2.8 drinks). As show in Chart 6, male youth aged 15
to 17 consumed considerably more drinks than their female counterparts regardless of where
they drank.

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Chart 6 shows the weekly number of drinks for each 18+ age group by gender and by location.

Women past year drinkers aged 18 to 24 years drank slightly more drinks at licensed premises
(15.4) than they did at home (13.7 DWIULHQG¶VKRPHV ) or at parties (11.6). Regardless of
location, women past year drinkers aged 18 to 24 exceeded the recommended guidelines of 10
drinks per week for women.

Women past year drinkers in the 25 to 49 age group drank slightly more drinks at home (12.0)
than they did DWDSDUW\  DWIULHQG¶V  RUDWDOLFHQVHGSUHPLVH ). This age group
drank close to accepted weekly guidelines.

Female past year drinkers, aged 50 plus, drank only slightly more drinks at a party (10.7) than
they did at other locations (9.1 to 9.7). This age group drank below or near accepted weekly
drinking guidelines regardless of location.

Men past year drinkers, aged 18 to 24 years, drank just slightly more drinks when they drank at
home (19.1) than they drank at IULHQGV¶  DWDSDUW\ .0) or at a licensed premise (17.7).
Regardless of location, men past year drinkers, aged 18 to 24 years old, drank at a level that
exceeds the accepted weekly drinking guidelines for men (14 drinks per week).

Men past year drinkers, aged 25 to 49, drank 25.5 drinks when partying DWVRPHRQH¶VKRXVH.
They drank 1.78 times the amount when partying DWVRPHRQH¶VKRXVHas they did at a license
premise (25.5 and 14.1 drinks). They drank roughly the same amount when drinking at home or
when drinking at friends (17.9 drinks compared to 17.3 drinks). When drinking at home, at

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friends or at parties, they consumed alcohol at rates above accepted weekly drinking guidelines
for men.

Men past year drinkers aged 50+ drank within acceptable weekly guidelines for men except
when they drank at parties (16.7). When partying DWVRPHRQH¶VKRXVH, men past year drinkers
aged 50+ drank over twice the amount drank at other locations.

Past year drinkers reported having drunk more often with close friends (64%) than with their
spouse/partner (24%) or a family member (14%). Men past year drinkers drank more often with
close friends (70%) than they did with their spouse/partner (16%) or other family member (15%).
Women past year drinkers show a similar drinking pattern. Like men, women past year drinkers
more often drank with close friends (60%) followed by their partner/spouse (30%) and with a
family member (13%).

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!"#>+%>*W>8'446*=#.%K*
L.&0

Chart 8 shows the percentage of Aboriginal drinkers by persons usually drink with and by
gender.

On average, past year drinkers consumed more drinks per week when they drank with a family
member (18.4 drinks per week) than they did when they drink with close friends (11.4 drinks per
week) or with their spouse/partner (9.8 drinks per week). Men drank significantly more drinks
per week (24.7) when they drank with their family member than they did when they drank with
close friends (16.0) or with their spouse/partner (11.3). Men past year drinkers drank 1.8 times
the accepted weekly drinking guidelines when they drank with their family member. They drank
below the weekly standard when they drank only with their spouse/partner.

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<0B.1,B

!"#>+%>*W>8'446*=#.%K*L.&0

Women past year drinkers drank more drinks per week (13.1) when they drank with a family
member or their spouse/partner (9.2) than they did with their close friends (7.3). When drinking
with their family members, women exceeded acceptable weekly consumption standards for
women (13.1 drinks versus the accepted standard of 10 drinks per week).

Marijuana:14

For the purpose of the RRDAANAS, marijuana includes all forms of cannabis including hash
and hash oil. The focus is on lifetime use and use in the past year. RRDAANAS respondents
ZHUHDVNHG³,QWKHSDVWPRQWKVKRZRIWHQKDYH\RXXVHGPDULMXDQD HJ. cannabis, grass,
SRW KDVK KDVK RLO "´ 7KH\ DOVR ZHUH DVNHG WR FLUFOH RQH RI QLQH UHVSRQVHV ZKLFK LQFOXGHG
once or twice, once a month, 2 -3 times a month, once a week, 2-3 times a week, 4-6 times a
week, daily, used by not in the past 12 months, or never used in lifetime. This question
provided the prevalence and frequency of marijuana use.

Seventy-five percent (75%) of respondents reported using marijuana at least once in their
lifetime15 compared to 45% of Canadians who reported lifetime use in the Canadian
Addiction Survey (2005).16

A review of the RRDAANAS and the Canadian Addiction Survey (2005) shows that 3.4 times
more Needs Assessment respondents used marijuana in the past year as did Canadian
respondents (48% and 14%17). Past year Needs Assessment Survey respondents comprise
66% of lifetime users.

Men respondents were significantly more likely to have used marijuana in their lifetime than
women respondents (84% and 68%). Needs Assessment Survey male respondents also were
more likely to have used marijuana in their lifetime than Canadian males (84% and 50%18).

''#
#
Men past year users outnumbered Canadian male past year users by 3 times the rate (56% and
18%19).

Women survey respondents were more likely to have used marijuana in their lifetime than
Canadian females (68% and 3%20). Four (4) times as many women survey respondents used
marijuana in the past year as Canadian females (43% and 10%21).

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of 15 to 17 year old survey respondents said they used marijuana in
the past 12 months. Male youth, aged 15 to 17 years, were more likely to have used marijuana
in the past year than females in the same age group (64% and 52%) but the difference was not
statistically significant.

Of the survey respondents, aged 18 to 24, 65% reported using marijuana in the past year. Men
and women in this age group were equally as likely to have used marijuana in the past year
(65% and 65%).

In the 12 months preceding the survey, 52% of respondents, aged 25 to 49, said they used
marijuana. Significantly more males used marijuana in the past year than females (64% and
45%).

In the 50+ age group, 20% Aboriginal respondents said they had used marijuana in the past
year. There was no statistically significant difference in the number of men and women in this
age group who used marijuana in the past year (29% and 15%).

Cocaine:22

RRDAANAS UHVSRQGHQWV ZHUH DVNHG  ³,Q WKH SDVW  PRQWKV KRZ RIWHQ KDYH \RX XVHG
FRFDLQH HJFRNHVQRZVQRUWEORZ "´$JDLQWKH\ZHUHasked to circle one of nine responses
which included: once or twice, once a month, 2 -3 times a month, once a week, 2-3 times a
week, 4-6 times a week, daily, used by not in the past 12 months, or never used in lifetime. This
question provided the prevalence and frequency of cocaine use.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of Needs Assessment Survey had never used cocaine in their
lifetime. Just over 43% of respondents reported having used cocaine at some time in their life.
Only 11% of respondents in the Canadian Addiction Survey report having tried cocaine.23

Men were more likely to have used cocaine during their life (54%) than women (36%). Men
respondents were significantly more likely to have tried using cocaine than Canadian males
(54% and 14%24).

Aboriginal females were also more likely to have used cocaine during their lifetime than
Canadian females (36% and 7%25). Just over 5 times more Aboriginal females than Canadian
females have tried cocaine.

Forty-four percent (44%) of respondents in the 15 to 24 age group reported having used
cocaine during their lifetime compared to 25% of Canadians in the Canadian Addictions Survey
(2005).26

'"#
#
Chart 10 shows the percentage of Needs Assessment Survey respondents by age group that
said they had used cocaine in the past 12 months.

A review of the number of Needs Assessment Survey past year users compared to Canadian
past year users reveals that Needs Assessment Survey respondents were significantly more
likely to have used cocaine than Canadians (18% and 2%27).

In the 15 to 17 age group, 16% of respondents reported using cocaine in the past year. More
males in the 15 to 27 age group reported using cocaine in the past 12 months than any other
age group (33%). Males in this age group were 10 times more likely to use cocaine than
females in the same age group (33% and 3%).

Twenty-eight percent (28%) of respondents in the 18 to 24 age group (28%) used cocaine in the
past 12 months. Overall, there were no significant differences in the percentage of male versus
females in this age group who reported using cocaine in the past year (28% and 27%).

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/+$'.%"[/#'$K*.%*!'>&*Q1*N+%&0>*56*)("*'%:*7"%:"#
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In the 25 to 49 age group, 19% of respondents said they used cocaine in the past year. Again,
males in this age group are more likely than females to have used cocaine in the past year
(26% and 15%).

Four percent (4%) of Aboriginal respondents in the 50+ age group reported using cocaine in the
past year. Male Aboriginals in the 50+ age group were more likely to have used cocaine in the
past year than Aboriginal females (6% and 3%).

'$#
#
Illicit Drugs (Excluding Marijuana, Cocaine and Opiates):28

RRDAANAS respondents were asked in the past 12 months, how often they used certain illicit
drugs. Respondents were asked to circle one of nine responses which included: once or twice,
once a month, 2 -3 times a month, once a week, 2-3 times a week, 4-6 times a week, daily,
used by not in the past 12 months, or never used in lifetime. This question provided the
prevalence and frequency of use.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of respondents said they have never used illicit drugs. Thirty percent
(30%) said they had used illicit drugs but not in the past 12 months. The remaining 13% said
they had used illicit drugs in the past 12 months. Former illicit drug users had on average 10.0
years of abstinence from illicit drug use. Women respondents had 11.5 years of abstinence
from illicit drugs compared to 8.7 years for men.

Over half of men respondents (52%) reported using illicit drugs in their lifetime compared to
33% of women respondents. Nineteen percent (19%) of men respondents currently use while
9% of women respondents currently use.

In order to determine age of initiation, the RRDAANAS also asked respondents who used illicit
drugs at what age they first used. The mean age for first using an illicit drug was 17 years of
age. Men first used illicit drugs at a younger age than women (15.7 years and 18.1 years).

Thirty-six percent (36%) of respondents who used reported they first started using illicit drugs
when they were aged 14 years or less. More men respondents reported starting to use illicit
drugs when they were 14 years of age or less than women (41% and 31%).

Of those who reported using illicit drugs, 46% said they began first using when they were 15 to
19 years of age. Of men respondents, 49% began first using when they were between 15 and
19. This compares to 43% of women respondents.

Fewer respondents reported first using illicit drugs when they were in the 20+ age group
(18.4%). Of those who first started using illicit drugs when they were age 20 or more, more
were females than males (26% and 10%).

Chart 11 shows the use of illicit substances by age group and by gender.

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A comparison of illicit substance use by age group reveals that 24% of survey respondents in
the 15 to 17 year age group have used illicit substances in the past year. Approximately, 6.9
more males than females in this age group reported using an illicit substance in the past 12
months (48% males and 7% females).

In the 18 to 24 age group, 17% of respondents said they had used an illicit substance in the
past 12 months.29 Again males outnumber females in their reported use (29% and 8%).

Of respondents in the 25 to 49 year age group, 14% reported having used an illicit substance in
the past year. Again, more males in this age group than females report current use (17% and
12%).

Illicit substance use in the 50+ age group is low. Only 3% report current use. In the survey, no
males in the 50+ age group reported using illicit drugs while 5% of females in the 50+ group
reported using in the past year.

Opiate Use:30

Because opiate use has become such a problem for many Aboriginal communities, opiate use
is highlighted here.

A. Prescription Opiate Use:

Twenty-four percent (24%) of respondents who used illicit drugs reported using opiates with a
prescription in the past 12 months. Twenty percent (20%) had used prescription opiates in their

'(#
#
lifetime but not in the past 12 months and 57% had never used opiates with a prescription in
their lifetime.

Chart 12 shows the percentage of respondents using opiates with a prescription in past 12
months by age group. The age group with the highest use is those aged 25 to 49 (27%),
followed by those aged 18 to 24 (24%). More males aged 25 to 49 used prescribed opiates
than women in the same age group (31% and 24%). More males in the 18 to 24 age group also
use prescribed opiates at a rate higher than women in the same age group (30% and 20%).
While more males in the younger age groups use prescribed opiates than females, this is not
the case in the 50+ age group. In this age group, women used prescribed opiates at a higher
rate than men (26% and 14%).

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B. Illicit Opiate Use (Without a Prescription):

Sixty-five percent (65%) of the respondents have never used illicit opiates. Seventy percent
(70%) of women respondents and 57% of men respondents have never used illicit opiates.

Thirty-five percent (35%) of respondents have used illicit opiates at some time in their lives. Of
those respondents who said they tried illicit opiates at some time in their lives, 22% report
having used in the past 12 months. Twenty-eight percent (28%) of male respondents said they
had used opiates without a prescription in the past 12 months while 18% of women respondents
used illicit opiates in the 12 months preceding the survey.

Chart 13 shows monthly opiate without a prescription by age group and gender.

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Twenty-six percent (26%) of those who said they used illicit opiates on a monthly basis were in
the 15 to 17 year age group. Men respondents in this age group were significantly more likely
than women respondents in the same age group to use illicit opiates monthly (38% and. 17%).

In the 18 to 24 age group, 33% of respondents reported using illicit opiates monthly. Thirty-six
percent (36%) of monthly users were men in the 18 to 24 age group while 31% were women.

In the 25 to 49 age group, 22% of respondents said they have used illicit opiates monthly.
Twenty-eight (28%) of men in the 25 to 49 age group reported having used illicit opiates monthly
compared to 18% of women in the same age group.

In the 50+ age group, 7% of respondents report using illicit opiates monthly. Just over twice as
many men in this age group used illicit opiates monthly women in the same age group (11% and
5%).

Injection Drug Use:31

Respondents were asked whether they had ever injected illicit drugs in their life and whether
they had injected drugs in the past 12 months. If they responded yes to either question, they
were asked a follow-up question concerning whether they had ever shared a needle, syringe,
cooker/spoon or filter with anyone ever in their lives or in the past 12 months.

Of those who have used illicit drugs, 10% reported having used injection drugs at some time in
their lifetime. A similar percentage of men and women respondents reported having used
injection drugs (11% and 10%).

Two percent (2%) of those who have used injection drugs did so in the past 12 months. More
men respondents than women report using illicit injection drugs in the past 12 months (3% and
2%).

'E#
#
Tobacco:32

Responders were only asked about smoking and not other forms of tobacco use. Respondents
were asked if they had ever smoked daily, how old they were when they started smoking daily,
whether they currently smoke and how often, the number of cigarettes they smoke each day
and if they are not current smokers how long they had been abstinent. Respondents were also
asked whether they smoked for ceremonial purposes.

Eighty-one percent (81%) of respondents said that they had smoked daily at sometime in their
lives. There was no significant difference between men and women (83% and 79%). Sixty-nine
percent (69%) of those who currently smoke do so daily. Again, there was no significant
difference been men and women who reported currently smoking daily (73% and 66%). Eleven
percent (11%) said they were occasional smokers and 20% said they did not smoke at all.

Sixty percent (60%) of respondents who smoke started when they were 14 years of age or less
while 40% reported they were aged 15 and over when they first started. Slightly more women
reported first smoking when they were 14 or less but there was no statistical difference between
the genders (62% and 57%). An examination of smoking by age group shows the highest
prevalence of smokers is in the 18 to 24 age group (80%) followed by youth in the 15 to 17 age
group (79%), those 25 to 49 (67%) and those 50 and over (61%). There was no significant
gender difference across the age groups. However, 91% of male youth aged 15 to 17 currently
smoke.

Respondents smoked on average 12 cigarettes a day. Fifty-four percent (54%) smoke between
1 and 10 cigarettes daily while 46% smoke 11 or more cigarettes on a daily basis. Women
smoke significantly fewer cigarettes on a daily basis than men (mean 11.1 and 13.3). Sixty-one
percent (61%) of women smoke 1 to 10 cigarettes daily compared to 46% of men.

The respondents who reported having quit smoking were abstinent for an average of 11.8
years. Women were abstinent longer than men but the difference was not significant (mean
13.3 and 9.3 years). Forty percent (40%) of respondents reported having quit for 11 or more
years while 39% had not smoked for one to five years. Women were more likely to report being
abstinent for 11 or more (45%) while men were more likely to report being smoke free for one to
five years (56%).

Twenty-eight percent (28%) of respondents report smoking for ceremonial purposes. Men were
significantly more likely to report smoking for ceremonial purposes than women (35% and 23%).

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Chapter 4: Trends in Prescription
Central Nervous System Drug Use
amongst Four First Nations in the Rainy
River District
Introduction:
There is a common held myth that if a doctor prescribes a drug, it must be good for you. Many
people also believe prescription medication cannot be addictive. Neither of these statements is
accurate. Many medications are potentially hazardous if used incorrectly, even over-the-counter
medications. Any mood-altering drug can be addictive, even if the doctor prescribed it. If a
patient does not follow the prescription as directed by consuming the dosage more often or by
consuming more of the drug than prescribed, the abuse can lead to addiction.

Because illegal drug use captures more public attention, it is easy to overlook the role legally
prescribed drugs play in drug addiction. This section of the report examines trends in central
nervous system drug use by members of the four (4) First Nations participating in the Treatment
and Support Services Project (Couchiching, Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing,
Mishkosiimiiniiziibig, and Mitaanjigaming First Nations) who use pharmacy benefits under the
Non-Insured Health Benefit Program. For the purposes of this report, central nervous system
drugs include central nervous system sedatives, narcotics and stimulants.

The Non-Insured Health Benefit Program of the First Nation and Inuit Health
Branch, Health Canada provides medically necessary health benefits for eligible First Nations
people and Inuit. Métis are not eligible for benefits under the program. Coverage includes a
specified range of drugs, dental care, vision care, medical supplies and equipment, sort-term
crisis intervention mental health counselling and medical transportation. The goods and
services that NIHB provides are those not provided either by private insurance plans, provincial
or territorial insured health and social programs, or by other publicly funded programs.

As part of its accountability framework, the First Nation and Inuit Health Branch maintains a data
base containing client information, pharmacy provider information and physician prescriber
information, as well as, drug prescriptions, quantities, dates when prescriptions were filled and
their costs.

Utilization of Central Nervous System Drugs:


The Treatment and Support Services Project, with the approval of the First Nations concerned,
requested non-identifying information on trends in the prescribing of central nervous system
drugs for members of the four (4) First Nations from the Non-insured Health Benefit Program.

!"#
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Health Canada provided data for seven fiscal years, beginning in FY2002-2003 and ending in
FY2008-2009.1 Ontario Region also provided a brief analysis of the data based on age group
and gender, where appropriate, and on utilization trends. The data was further analyzed by the
Treatment and Support Services Project.

The data included in this section of the report is an under representation of the number of
central nervous system prescriptions provided to members of the four (4) First Nations. The
data only includes those prescriptions paid for under the Non-Insured Health Benefit Program
and does not include prescriptions covered under private insurance plans, provincial or territorial
insured health and social programs, by other publicly funded programs or paid for by cash. The
data includes members of the four (4) First Nations resident on and off-reserve that filled
prescriptions at pharmacies in Kenora, Dryden, Rainy River, Atikokan, Fort Frances and Emo.

)RU WKH SXUSRVH RI WKH GDWD ³FOLHQWV´ are distinct persons, counted once, regardless of how
many prescriptions they have filled.2 Narcotics include all opiate agonists according to the
America Hospital Formulary Service (AHFS) classification.3 Long-acting narcotics include those
agents which are designed to be taken twice daily or less frequently such as Oxycontin, MS
Contin, Duragesic patches and others.4

A. Trends in Narcotic Use:

Chart 14 shows the trend in narcotic use for NIHB clients from the four (4) study First Nations
over a seven year period as recorded by the Non-Insured Health Benefit Program.5 Both the
number of clients receiving narcotics as well as the quantity of narcotics dispensed increased
until FY2007-2008.6 Between FY2002-2003 and FY2007-2008, the number of clients receiving
narcotics, as well as, the quantity of narcotics dispensed grew. In FY2008-2009, both the
number of clients receiving narcotics and the quantity of narcotics dispensed decreased.

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In FY2002-2003, the average quantity of narcotics dispensed to NIHB clients in the four (4) First
Nations was 357 tablets per person. In FY2006-2007, the average quantity of narcotics
dispensed per client peaked at 510.6 tablets per client and declined in subsequent years. In
FY2008-2009, the average number of narcotics dispensed was 448.6 tablets per client.

Chart 15 shows the percentage of NIHB First Nation clients from the four (4) First Nations by
age group receiving narcotics in 2008.7 It shows in the 20 to 29 age group, women and men
were equally as likely to receive narcotics (41% and 41%). In the 30 to 39 age group, women
were slightly more likely than men to receive narcotics (31% and 27%). In the 40 to 49 age
group, women and men were again equally as likely to receive narcotics (37% and 36%).
However in the 50 to 59 age group, men were significantly more likely than women to be
prescribed narcotics (50% and 39%) as were men in the 60 to 69 age group (38% and 32%). In
the 70 to 79 age group, women and men were again equally as likely to be prescribed narcotics
(22% and 23%).

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B. Trends in Acetaminophen and Codeine Use:

Chart 16 shows trends in acetaminophen + codeine use by NIHB First Nation Clients in four (4)
First Nations.8 Acetaminophen + codeine is used to treat mild to moderate pain.

The number of clients receiving acetaminophen + codeine products peaked in FY2003-2004


and remained fairly constant between FY2004-2005 and FY2007-2008. While the number of
clients receiving acetaminophen + codeine remained relatively the same, the quantity of tablets
dispensed to these clients grew dramatically peaking in FY2006-2007 at 289.6 tablets per client.
In FY2007-2008, the amount of tablets being prescribed per client began to decline. In FY2008-
2009, both the number of clients receiving acetaminophen + codeine and the amount dispensed
declined significantly.

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C. Trends in Percocet and Generics Use:

Chart 17 shows trends in Percocet and generics use by NIHB First Nation clients from the four
(4) First Nations.9 Percocets are used to treat moderate to severe acute (short term) pain.
Percocets contain oxycodone and acetaminophen.

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Both the number of clients receiving Percocets (and generics) and the quantity of tablets
dispensed peaked in FY2007-2008. In FY2008-2009, both the number of clients and the
quantity of tablets dispensed decreased.

D. Trends in Oxycontin Use:

Chart 18 represents trends in Oxycontin use by members of the four (4) First Nations.10
Oxycontin is designed for the management of moderate to severe pain when a continuous,
around the clock pain reliever is needed for an extended period of time.11 Oxycontin is highly

!)#
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addictive and needs to be dispensed with caution. Oxycontin tablets are not intended for use as
an ³DVQHHGHG´ analgesic.

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Chart 1812 reveals in FY2007-2008, the quantity of Oxycontin per First Nation client peaked
(1,264 tablets per client). In FY2008-2009, the amount of Oxycontin prescribed per client
dropped while the number of clients remained steady (988.7 pills per client). 13

In FY2002-2003, the Non-Insured Health Benefit Program added Codeine Contin as a limited
use benefit (LU Benefit) requiring prior approval of the Non-Insured Health Benefit Program
before dispensing. Fentanyl patches changed from an open benefit to a limited use benefit,
requiring prior approval, in FY2006. A product will be designated for limited use when it has the
potential for widespread use outside the indications for which benefit has been demonstrated; it

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has proven effectiveness, but is associated with predictable severe adverse effects; it is usually
a second or third line choice for treatment and is required because of allergies, intolerance,
treatment failure or non-compliance with a first line alternative; or it is very costly and a
therapeutically effective alternative is available as a benefit.

Chart 19 shows the quantity and strength of Oxycontin tablets dispensed to members of the four
(4) First Nations between FY2002-2003 and FY2008-2009.14

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Oxycontin in 60 mg, 80 mg, and 160 mg tablets, or a single dose greater than 40 mg, are for
use in opioid-tolerant patients only.15 A single daily dose greater than 40 mg, or total daily doses
greater than 80 mg, may cause fatal respiratory depression when administered to patients who
are not tolerant to the respiratory depressant effects of opioids.16 Chart 19 reveals prior to
FY2003-2004, 80mg tablets were not dispensed to the members of these First Nations. In
FY2002-2003, a minimal amount of 40mg tablets were dispensed. In the following year,

!*#
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FY2003-2004, there was a ten-fold increase in the number of 40 mg tablets dispensed. In
FY2004-2005, the amount of 40 mg tablets dispensed almost doubled that of the previous year.
The amount of 40 mg tablets dispensed peaked in FY2007-2008 and declined in FY2008-2009.
A review of the data from the NIHB program on Oxycontin dosage levels reveals most
Oxycontin dispensed to the four (4) First Nations is 40 mgs.

According to the Regional Pharmacist, the Oxycontin in the lower dosages (5mg, 10 mg and
20mg) is more susceptible to abuse because it is more likely to be diverted.17 A review of the
dosage data shows 5mg tablets have not been dispensed through the NIHB program to any
member of the four (4) First Nations in the seven years for which data is available. Oxycontin in
the 10 mg dosage dispensed through NIHB has declined in the last two years. Oxycontin in the
20 mg dosage peaked in FY2007-2008 and declined in FY2008-2009.

E. Trends in Long-Acting Narcotic Use:

Chart 20 shows the trends in long-acting narcotic use amongst the four (4) First Nations.18
Overall, the quantity of long-acting narcotics dispensed to the four (4) First Nations is
decreasing, but Oxycontin is making up an increasing proportion of this category.19 In FY2008-
2009, Oxycontin comprised 47% of the long-acting narcotics dispensed to the First Nations.

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F. Trends in Methadone Use:

Chart 21 shows trends in Methadone versus narcotic use for the four (4) First Nations.20
Methadone is a synthetic opioid and is used most commonly to treat dpendence on other opioid
drugs such as heroin, codeine and morphine. The FKDUW¶V VXSSRUWLQJ GDWD UHYHDOV DV WKH
number of methadone clients has increased, the number of narcotic users has decreased by a
similar amount.21

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G. Trends in Benzodiazpine Use:

Chart 22 shows the trends in benzodiazepines dispensed to NIHB First Nation clients in the four
(4) First Nations.22 Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are a group of depressant drugs commonly

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called tranquillizers and sleeping pills. Some of the most well-known benzos (and their trade
names are: Chlordiazepoxide (Librium), Alprazolam (Xanax), Diazepam (Valium), Lorazepam
(Ativan) and Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol). Three benzodiazepines were de-listed from the Non-
Insured Health Benefit Program in FY2007-8 with current recipients grandfathered in.23

The chart reveals both the number of clients and the quantity of benzodiazepines dispensed to
the four (4) First Nations have remained relatively stable over the years.24

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Chart 23 shows the percentage of clients from the four (4) First Nations receiving
benzodiazepines by age and gender in 2008.25 The chart shows more First Nations women
than men receive prescrptions of benzodiazepines.26

Women in the 40 to 49 age group are more likely to be prescribed benzodiazepines than
women in other age groups. Women in the age group are 2.3 times as likely to be prescribed
benzodiazepines than men in the same age group. Approved benzodiazepine use is for anxiety
or sleeping problems, however, some women are given the drug when experiencing trauma,
grief, chronic illness, physical pain, or adjusting to a major life transition.27 No data is available
on whether the individuals prescribed this drug also receive psychosocial support.

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H. Trends in Stimulant Use:

Chart 24 shows trends in the use of stimulants by members of the four (4) First Nations.28
Stimulants include all strengths and generics and forms of Ritalin, Dexedrine, Biphentin,
Concerta and Alertec.29

Both the number of clients and the quantity of stimulants dispensed to the First Nations in
question has decreased steadily over the last three years.30

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Client Safety and Prescription Monitoring:
The NIHB Program has come under scrutiny of the Auditor General of Canada and the Standing
Committee on Public Accounts for its management of the NIHB program. The Office of the
Auditor General reported to Parliament in May 2006 Health Canada had made little progress on
its 1997 Audit recommendations. Subsequent reports found the Department ³VORZWRLQWHUYHQH
where potentially inappropriate use of prescription drugs was observed and it was not
monitoring the number of prescription drug-related deaths of those covered by its drug benefits
program.´31

In February 2007, the Non-Insured +HDOWK %HQHILWV 3URJUDP +HDOWK &DQDGDLVVXHGD³5HSRUW


RQ &OLHQW 6DIHW\ ,PSURYHPHQWV´32 :KLOHWKHPDMRULW\ RI )LUVW 1DWLRQV¶ FOLHQWV XVH SUHVFULSWLRQ
drugs in an appropriate way, the NIHB Program has implemented four pillars to client safety that
focuses attention on cases of concern.

A. Pillar 1 - Warning Messages to Pharmacists:

The NIHB Point-of-Sale System warns front-line pharmacists about potential client safety issues
including ³drug to drug interaction potential´, ³duplicate therapy´ (client prescribed a drug from
the same therapy class), ³duplicate therapy multi-pharmacy´ (original prescription filled at
another pharmacy), ³duplicate drug´ (client has received the same drug and has used less than
2/3 of the medical based on the days supply), and ³duplicate drug multi-pharmacy´ (client has
received the same drug and has used less than 2/3 of the medicine based on the days supply;
however the original prescription was filled by another pharmacist). In April 2006, the NIHB
Program added a special warning to warn about the potential misuse of specific drugs including
narcotic-based drug products (opioids such as morphine, codeine, and oxycodone which are
used to relieve pain), benzodiazepines (so-FDOOHG ³PLQRU´ WUDQTXLOL]HUV VOHHS DLGV Dnd anti-
anxiety medications) and methadone (a long-lasting synthetic opioid used to treat pain and/or
opioid addiction).33 7KH ³potential misuse of prescription drugs´ ZDUQLQJ ZLOO DSSHDU LQ
situations where clients access 3 or more benzodiazepines; 3 or more opioids, 3 or more
benzodiazepines and 3 or more opioids; methadone in combination with other opioid drugs.34

Claims submitted through the NIHB Point-of-6DOHV\VWHPZKLFKSURPSW³GUXJ-to-drug interaction


SRWHQWLDO´ RU ³GXSOLFDWH GUXJ´ RU ³GXSOLFDWH GUug multi-SKDUPDF\´ ZLOO QRW EH DFFHSWHG IRU
payment.35 In order to submit the claims for payment, pharmacists who receive the rejection
message must provide an override code back to the NIHB Program to explain the action they
took based on their professional judgment, in deciding to dispense the claim.36 The NIHB
program will pay the prescription in cases where pharmacist chooses to override a rejected
claim.37

When a warning and rejection message appears, a pharmacist may decline to fill the
prescription or s/he may choose one of eleven override actions. The potential override actions
are:38

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Pharmacy Codes for Overriding NIHB Rejection Messages
Consult Prescriber and filled Rx as Written.
Consult Prescriber and Changed Dose.
Consult Prescriber and Changed Instructions For Use.
Consult Prescriber and Changed Drug.
Consult Prescriber and Changed Quantity.
Patient Gave Adequate Explanation, Rx Filled as Written.
Cautioned Patient, Rx Filled as Written.
Consult Other Source and Filled Rx As Written.
Consult Other source, Alter Rx and Filled.
Assessed Patient, Therapy is Appropriate.
Replacement, Item Lost or Broken.

NHIB monitors the number of pharmacy claims flagged with warning messages or rejected by
the point-of-sale system.

B. Pillar 2 - Rejection Messages Regarding Drug Therapy Patterns:

The NIHB Program also provides rejection messages with a pharmacist cannot override.39
7KHVHPHVVDJHVRFFXUZKHQDFOLHQW¶VFODLPVKLVWRU\LQGLFDWHVSRWHQWLDOPLVXVHRURYHUXVHRI
acetaminophen-based opioids products (Tylenol 3, Oxycet/Percocet), as well as
benzodiazepines. A pharmacist receiving this message must contact the NIHB Drug Exception
&HQWUH WR REWDLQ WKH 3URJUDP¶V DSSURYDO EHIRUH WKH 3URJUDP ZLOO DXWKRUL]H SD\PHQW RI WKH
medications in question.40 The Exceptional Claims Centre must follow up with the client and
prescribing physician to authorize the further use of the drug under the Program.41

As noted earlier, the NIHB Program placed limits on the maximum allowable doses of all
acetaminophen-based narcotic combination products such as Tylenol 3 in 2005.42

C. Pillar 3 ± Client and Program Level Trend Analysis:

Client Level Analysis and Follow-up with Health Care Providers

The NIHB Program can anonymously identify clients at highest potential risk for misuse of
benzodiazepines and/or narcotic ±based products.43 Anonymous client profiles are reviewed by
NIHB pharmacy consultants, all of whom are licensed health care professionals.44 When
concerns are identified, and where the client agrees, the NIHB Program, makes a direct
LQWHUYHQWLRQZLWKWKHFOLHQW¶VSK\VLFLDQDQGSKDUPDFLVW45 This may lead to changes in how the
client is prescribed certain drugs.46

The Prescription Monitoring Program

In January 2007, the NIHB Program established the ³3UHVFULSWLRQ 0RQLWRULQJ 3URJUDP´47
Focusing initially on benzodiazepines and narcotic-based drugs, the Program monitors on an
on-going basis client drug use patterns with respect to the number of physicians visited and the
QXPEHURI³SRWHQWLDOXVHRISUHVFULSWLRQGUXJ´ZDUQLQJVJHQHUDWHG48 Clients identified through
the monitoring process may be placed into the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) which

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then requires the client in question to have future claims verified and authorized by a pharmacist
at 1,+%¶V'UXJ([FHSWLRQ&HQWUH49 If the client or his/her health care providers cannot provide
evidence to support the continuation of drug therapy, the NIHB Program reserves the right not
to pay for the drugs requested.50

Program Level Analysis, Identification of Issues and Adjusting Program Requirements

NIHB Headquarters actively analyses broad patterns of drug utilization, prescribing, and
dispensing, on an on-going basis. Once an issue is identified, program interventions are made
to prevent recurrence of inappropriate prescription drug use. These interventions may include
removing a drug from an open-benefit status to a limited-use benefit or in certain circumstances;
the drug may be removed from the approved drug list. The NIHB Program regularly issues
bulletins to keep health professionals who serve First Nation clients informed of NIHB policies
and practices.

D. Pillar 4 ± Drug Use Evaluation Committee:

In 2003, the NIHB Program created the NIHB Drug Used Evaluation Advisory Committee ³WR
provide independent expert advice to improve health outcomes of First Nations and Inuit clients
WKURXJKHIIHFWLYHXVHRISKDUPDFHXWLFDOV´51 It includes health professionals including four First
Nation physicians.52 It meets four times a year and reviews drug-use trends for NIHB clients
and!"#$%&!'%()""%*+#,-)*&!.)'!/')0'#"!-*,%'1%*,-)*&!#*+!.)22)345/678!!!

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Chapter 5: Aboriginal Substance


Abuse: Causation and Protective
Factors
Introduction:

For many years, it appeared that alcohol abuse/misuse was on the decline in Aboriginal
communities as uncontrolled drinking became less acceptable. Recent studies report that
Aboriginal populations drink less frequently than does the general population (15% Aboriginal
and 8% Canadian).1 However, research shows binge drinking2 occurs at a higher rate in the
Aboriginal community than in the general population.3 Moreover, it appears more Aboriginal
people are using drugs, and many of these are youth and young adults. The Centre for
Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) reports the documented rate of illicit drug use among First
Nations nationally is more than double the rate of the general Canadian population (7.3% and
3.0%).4

Statistics on Aboriginal substance use raises the questions: why are Aboriginal people at
continuing risk for substance abuse? Why are Aboriginal youth and young adults turning to
drugs? The Rainy River District Aboriginal Addictions Needs Assessment Survey incorporated
a question on historical loss (also known as historical trauma) and a question on mental health
and psychological distress. Previous research has directly linked these to Aboriginal substance
use. The results of these two study questions, as well as, discussions in the eighteen (18) focus
groups provides valuable insight into the factors which influence substance use in the study
communities.

Causation:
A. Unresolved Historical Trauma:

There has been a lot written about the devastating effects colonization, the outlawing of
Aboriginal languages and spiritual practices, centuries of forced relocation and assimilation, has
had on Aboriginal people. Whether you call it historical trauma, historical legacy, inter-
generational post-traumatic stress disorder or the Indian holocaust, the fact remains these
events have left a lasting imprint on the psyche of Aboriginal people. Whitbeck et al believes
WKDW ³WKH DQDORJ\ RI WKH +RORFDXVW PD\ QRW VXIILFLHQWO\ FRQYH\´ 5 the North American Indian
experience. They note that because North America was their homeland, North American Indians
had no safe place to return to or to immigrate to when they found themselves the victims of
colonial oppression.

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In Canada, First Nations were forced to cede their historical lands through the treaty-making
process and relocate to reserves. Like their American counterparts, First Nations¶ people could
not leave their reserves without the approval of the Indian agent and non-Indians were not
allowed to trade with them without the ,QGLDQ DJHQW¶V consent. They were forced to abandon
their traditional harvesting, hunting and fishing lifestyle in favour of farming or more civilized
white industrial pursuits. With their traditional means of survival diminished and their
movements restricted, they became wards of the state and dependent on government for food,
shelter and health care.

Whitbeck et al characterize the collective experience of North American Indians as ³HWKQLF


cleansing.´6 They also hold that ZKDWKDSSHQHGWRWKLVFRQWLQHQW¶VLQGLJHQRXVSHRSOHis not an
historical event that occurred sometime in the past. Colonization and acculturation policies
aimed at eradicating Indians persisted for many generations and continue to this day in the
form of on-going encroachments on Indian lands, attempted restrictions on Aboriginal hunting,
fishing and land-use rights, government unwillingness to support Aboriginal self-governance,
loss of language and cultural integrity, and persistent discrimination across all facets of
Aboriginal life. Because Aboriginal people are constantly surrounded by daily reminders of their
historical losses and because they have to remain ever vigilant against new attacks, the
psychological well-being of Aboriginal people is continually being undermined.

Eduardo Duran et al describes KLVWRULFDO WUDXPD DV ³VRXO ZRXQG´7 Braveheart-Jordan, 1995
supports this view. She GHVFULEHVKLVWRULFDOWUDXPDDVD³FRQVWHOODWLRQRIIHDWXUHVLQUHDFWLRQWR
the multigenerational, collective, historical, and cumulative psychic wounding over time, both
RYHUWKHOLIHVSDQDQGDFURVVJHQHUDWLRQV´8 Dr. Braveheart¶VUHVHDUFKVXSSRUWVWKHfinding that
because historical trauma has gone unresolved and untreated in the Aboriginal population, it is
now manifest in current social pathology involving high rates of suicide, homicide, domestic
violence, child abuse, alcoholism and other social problems.

Historical Loss Scale:

In 2002, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln obtained funding through a grant from the National
Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Mental Health in the United States to
undertake a three-year longitudinal study involving three Anishinabe (Ojibway/Chippewa)
reservations in the upper Midwest and five Anishinabe First Nation reserves in Canada. One of
the Canadian reserves was Couchiching First Nation, one of our study communities. The goal of
the Giigewin Miikana (Healing Pathways) Project, as it was known, ZDV WR ³LGHQWLI\ FXOWXUDOO\
VSHFLILF UHVLOLHQFH DQG ULVN IDFWRUV WKDW DIIHFW FKLOGUHQ¶V ZHOO-being and then to use the
information to guide the development of culturally based inWHUYHQWLRQV´9

The Giigewin Miikana Project included Les Whitbeck as principle investigator. Working with
Elders, the researchers developed a Historical Loss Scale and a Historical Loss Associated
Symptoms Scale. The Historical Loss Scale DVVHVVHV ³WKH SUHYDOHQFH DQG LPPHGLDF\ RI
WKRXJKWVSHUWDLQLQJWRKLVWRULFDOORVV´10 It enumerates perceived losses and asks respondents
how frequently these losses come to mind. The perceived losses included loss of land, loss of

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language, loss of spiritual ways, residential school, government relocation, and poor treatment
by government officials, loss of trust due to broken treaties, loss of culture, losses from the
effects of alcohol, loss of respect for Elders, loss through early deaths and loss of traditional
ways.

The Rainy River District Aboriginal Addiction Needs Assessment Survey incorporated the
Historical Loss Scale into its survey questionnaire. The Needs Assessment Survey Report
revealed the following.11

A high percent of respondents reported thinking about historical losses (66% to 85%). Eighty-
five percent (85%) of respondents indicated they thought about the loss of respect by children
and grandchildren for Elders and loss people through early death. Eighty-four percent (84%)
thought of the loss of respect by children for traditional ways, loss of culture and losses from the
affects of alcohol. Eighty-two percent (82%) think about the loss of traditional spiritual ways,
80% think about loss of language, 77% think about loss of land and 77% think about loss of self
respect because of poor treatment by government officials. Seventy-four percent (74%) think
about loss of family ties because of residential schools, 73% think about loss of trust in whites
because of broken treaties, and 66% think about loss of families from the reserve/area due to
government relocation. Chart 25 illustrates these findings.

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The Needs Assessment Survey Report indicates there were no significant gender differences
for 7 of the 12 items of historical loss. However, women were more likely than men to report

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thinking about the loss of respect by children/grandchildren for elders (89% and 80%), loses
from the effects of alcohol (88% and 80%), loss of people from early death (88% and 80%), loss
of respect by children for traditional ways (87% and 80%), and loss of their culture (87% and
80%).

There were few items that were statistically significant by age group. However, the Needs
Assessment Survey Report highlighted some interesting age-related patterns. Respondents
between the ages of 25 to 49 were slightly more likely to report thinking about these items at
least once a month, followed by those ages 50 or more. Respondents between the ages of 15
to 17 were equally as likely to report thinking about these items as those in other age groups.
Respondents ages 18 to 24 were slightly less likely to report thinking about these items.

B. The Indian Residential School Experience:

One of the most contentious periods in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal relations centered on
government policies and practices related to residential schools. To appreciate the effect these
schools had on Aboriginal people, it is important to understand their historical evolution and their
linkage with government Indian policy.

During the early European settlement of Canada, several Christian orders tried to establish
schools for Indian children but were XQVXFFHVVIXO,QWKHHDUO\¶VWKHJRYHUQPHQWRI/RZHU
Canada sought to remove Indians from their traditional lands so that European settlement and
expansion could proceed unhindered by the land¶s original inhabitants. The government
established experimental Indian settlements in what is now southern Ontario to achieve this
desired outcome. In 1828, Lower Canada formalized this resettlement experiment in a policy
that gave rise to the reserve system. The policy proposed establishing Indians in fixed locations
where they could be educated, converted to Christianity and transformed into farmers.

In 1837, the Government issued a report recommending the removal of Indian children from
WKHLUSDUHQWVDQGFRPPXQLWLHVVRWKDWWKHJRDORI³FLYLOL]LQJ´,QGLDQVFRXOGEHDFFHOHUDWHG7KLV
tenet was repeated in 1845 in a report to the Legislature by Dr. Egerton Ryerson, Chief
Superintendent of Education. 5HIHUULQJWR,QGLDQFKLOGUHQ5\HUVRQVDLG³7KHLUHGXFDWLRQPXVW
consist not merely of the training of the mind, but of a waning from the habits and feelings of
their ancestors, and the acquirements of the langXDJHDUWVDQGFXVWRPVRIFLYLOL]HGOLIH´12 His
report also proposed the establishment of government-funded religious education administered
by the churches and the creation of Indian industrial schools.

By 1850, it became compulsory for every Indian child, age 6 to 15, to attend school. Children
could be forcibly removed from their parents and their parents fined if they failed to cooperate.
In 1920, compulsory attendance was formalized into law.

In 1860, management of Indian Affairs was transferred from Great Britain to the Province of
Canada. In 1867, the Dominion of Canada was established and the federal government given
responsibility for Indians and lands reserved for Indians.13

&'!
!
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,Q1LFKRODV)ORRG'DYLQLQKLV³5HSRUWRQ,QGXVtrial Schools for Indians and Half-%UHHGV´


advised then Prime Minister John A. Macdonald that industrial schools were a better means of
³FLYLOL]LQJ´ ,QGLDQV WKDQZHUH GD\ VFKRROV  /LNH HDUOLHU UHSRUWV RQ ,QGLDQHGXFDWLRQ WKH*DYLQ
Report advocated governPHQWHIIRUWVWR³FLYLOL]H´,QGLDQVIRFXVRQ their children. Children, he
DGYLVHGVKRXOGEHUHPRYHGIURPWKHLUKRPHVDQGSXWLQUHVLGHQWLDOVFKRROVDV³WKHLQIOXHQFHRI
WKHZLJZDPZDVVWURQJHUWKDQWKDWRIWKH>GD\@VFKRRO´J.A. Mcrae, federal Inspector of Indian
Agencies and Reserves, argued that Indian adults could not be changed from their ³SUHVHQW
VWDWHRILJQRUDQFHVXSHUVWLWLRQDQGKHOSOHVVQHVV´EHFDXVHWKH\ZHUH³SK\VLFDOO\PHQWDOO\DQG
PRUDOO\XQILWWHGWREHDUVXFKDFRPSOHWHPHWDPRUSKRVLV´ The churches (Anglican, Catholic,
Methodist and Presbyterian) were duplicitous in supporting the removal of Indian children from
WKHLUIDPLOLHV7KH$UFKELVKRSRI6W%RQLIDFHVDLG,QGLDQFKLOGUHQVKRXOGEH³FDXJKW\RXQJWR
be saved from what is on the whROHWKHGHJHQHUDWLQJLQIOXHQFHRIWKHLUKRPHHQYLURQPHQW´7KH
churches, of course, had another motivation. They wanted to Christianize Indian children in the
name of God and save them from the pagan and superstitious influence of their SDUHQW¶V
traditional beliefs. Christianity was to supplant Indian spirituality.

By 1896, there were 45 Indian schools in Canada, including 24 industrial schools. In 1907, Dr.
Peter Bryce, the Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Indian Affairs, reported on the
deplorable health conditions in many of the residential schools.14 The overcrowding, poor
sanitation and lack of medical care in Indian schools had led to the rampant spread of
communicable disease. His report indicated that within five years of entering residential
schools, 35% to 60% of the children were dead.15 The File Hills Indian Boarding School in
Saskatchewan reportedly had a death rate of 69 percent.16

Bryce blamed the churches and staff for not looking after the health of their Indian charges. He
also said that the poor health conditions in the schools were the result of confusion between
government and church over jurisdiction for Indian education. The government blamed the
churches for not properly maintaining the schools and for failing to maintain proper sanitary
practices. The churches said inadequate government funding made it impossible for them to
meet acceptable health and facility standards. Indian students were also blamed for their own ill
health. Government and church officials said tuberculosis was hereditary (a common belief of
WKHWLPH WKDWLWZDVWKHUHVXOWRISRRUOLYLQJFRQGLWLRQVLQWKHFKLOGUHQ¶VKRPHFRPPXQLWLHVDQG
because Indians KDGDZHDNFRQVWLWXWLRQDQGDJHQHWLFSUHGLVSRVLWLRQWRLOOQHVV%U\FH¶V1907
report was buried by the government of the day. Its content would not be made public until
ZKHQ%U\FHSXEOLVKHGLWKLPVHOILQDSDPSKOHWHQWLWOHG³$1DWLRQDO&ULPH´

Samuel H. Blake, the head of a committee investigating the work of missionaries among
&DQDGD¶VQDWLYHSHRSOH, wrote a report proposing the reforming of the native education system.
He wanted the federal government to assume full financial responsibility for the management of
residential schools. His committee also advocated for improved public health in the schools and
a higher quality of education for native students. The committee recommended industrial
schools be abolished in favour of day schools. His recommendations, like those of Bryce, met

&(!
!
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with opposition. Writing to Archdeacon J.W. Tims, principle of the Calgary Industrial School,
Blake wrote:

³How in the world you can be satisfied with statistics which show that out of 900 to
1,000 children which pass through our Indian schools, 300 of them pass out of our
hands to the grave within ten to twelve years I cannot conceive except upon the
hypothesis that we grow callous amidst such a frightful death rate.17´

Blake also stated because government failed ³WR REYLDWH WKH SUHYHQWDEOH FDXVHV RI GHDWK LW 
EULQJVLWVHOIZLWKLQXQSOHDVDQWQHDUQHVVWRWKHFKDUJHRIPDQVODXJKWHU´18

In 1909, the Department of Indian Affairs hired Duncan Campbell Scott as its first
Superintendent of Education. He is reported as saying:

"It is true that Indian children die at a much higher rate in our Indian boarding schools
from communicable diseases ... But such is in keeping with policy of this Department,
which is geared towards the Final Solution of the Indian Problem."

In 1910, the Department informed the churches the industrial schools would be gradually
eliminated and the savings used to pay for higher salaries for better qualified teachers and for
the renovation of existing buildings. Increased federal funding was contingent upon each
VFKRRO¶V FRPSOLDQFH ZLWK QHZO\ HVWDEOLVKHG VDQLWDU\ SUDFWLFHV 6FKRROV ZRXOG EH SDLG RQ D
sliding scale depending on their ability to provide proper sewage disposal, clean water supply,
modern ventilation, health and lighting systems, and hospital facilities for sick students. Schools
KDGWRHPSOR\KLJKHUTXDOLW\VWDIIDQGNHHSWKHEXLOGLQJV³IUHHIURPIOLHVLQVHFWVDQGYHUPLQ´,Q
1913, the Indian Act was amended to give the Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs
authority to develop and enforce sanitary regulations for the prevention of disease, and for the
maintenance of streets, houses, and public buildings. The amendment committed the
government to the provision of medical aid and attention to the Indian population when
necessary to mitigate against disease.

Overall, the quality of education in the Indian residential schools was poor. Most of the teachers
lacked qualifications. Students received little formal education beyond basic math, spelling and
writing. Students spent half of their day in vocational training for more ³civilized´ pursuits such
as farming and carpentry for boys and domestic skills for girls. In reality, much of the
³vocational training´ they received was designed to defray the cost of their boarding and any
product they made was sold to off-VHW WKH VFKRRO¶V operating costs. In 1930, only 3 in 100
Aboriginal students advanced beyond grade 6.19

Corporal punishment was a common and accepted form of discipline. However, discipline often
gave way to outright abuse; abuse that was well known to government and church officials. The
5R\DO &RPPLVVLRQ RQ $ERULJLQDO 3HRSOH UHSRUWV ³KHDG RIILFH VFKRRO DQG FKXUFK ILOHV DUH
UHSOHWHIURPHDUO\LQWKHV\VWHP¶VKLVWRU\ZLWKLQFLGHQWVWKDWYLRODWHGWKHQRUPVRIWKHGD\´20
The Royal &RPPLVVLRQ¶V 5eport contains numerous testimonies of how Indian students were
savagely beaten by school officials, chained to benches, locked in rooms and denied food.

&)!
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Sexual molestation was also documented. Many Indian students ran away from the harsh
treatment only to die from exposure during their efforts to reach home. Suicides and attempted
suicides were also reported. 7KH5R\DO&RPPLVVLRQZULWHV³FKURQLFUHOXFWDQFe to challenge the
churches and to insist upRQ WKH SURSHU WUHDWPHQW RI WKH FKLOGUHQ WRJHWKHU ZLWK WKH FKXUFKHV¶
persistent carelessness in the face of neglect and abuse by their members, became central
elements in the pattern of mishandling abuse as long DVWKHV\VWHPFRQWLQXHGWRRSHUDWH´21

By the time the last one closed in 1983, approximately 150,000 Indian and Métis students
attended Indian residential schools. While not every child was physically abused in the schools,
all had their lives shaped by their experience. 6W0DUJDUHW¶V,QGLDQ5HVLGHQWLDO6FKRRORXWVLGH
Fort Frances opened in 1902. It was operated by the Roman Catholic Church and closed in
1974. Several focus group members spoke of the trauma and soul wounding they experienced
in residential school.

³5HVLGHQWLDOVFKRROFUHDWHGDGLVFRQQHFWLRQLQRXUVSLULWXDOOLIH:HORVWWKH
connection with our language and the 7 Grandfather teachings. We lost sight of
ZKRZHDUHDV,QGLDQSHRSOH´

³0RVWRIWKHQXQVDW6W0DUJDUHW¶VZHUH)UHQFKCanadian. They called us little


savages. I grew up believing that Indians were savages. They made you believe
WKDWEHLQJ,QGLDQZDVVRPHWKLQJWREHDVKDPHGRI´

³We used alcohol to deal with our emotions; to numb ourselves to the feelings we
did not know how to handle. We could not have emotions in residential school. If
we cried, we were punished. If we got angry, we were punished. If we missed our
SDUHQWVZHZHUHSXQLVKHG´

³,ZDVVH[XDOO\DEXVHGLQ,QGLDQUHVLGHQWLDOVFKRRO,QHYHUVSRNHDERXWLt. I
FRXOGQ¶WKDQGOHLW,WULHGWRGHQ\LW,WULHGWRGULQNLWDZD\,I,ZDVGUXQN,GLGQ¶W
KDYHWRWKLQNDERXWLW,WZDVQ¶WXQWLO,ZHQWWRWUHDWPHQWWKDW,FRXOGHYHQWDON
DERXWLW´

³We need truth and reconciliation funds to help us deal with the residential school
issue. People who attended residential school did not talk about their problems.
Our parents refused to talk about it because it was too painful for them. There
was guilt too. Our parents had to send us away; they had no choice.´

³The legacy of our experience is being passed on to our children ± loss of


language, loss of identity, loss of self-respect and loss of family values. :HGRQ¶W
trust anyone.´

In the Needs Assessment Survey, less than 10% of the total respondents indicated they
personally attended Indian residential school.22 Of those who attended, 83% were ages 50 or
older and 18% were between the ages of 25 to 49. Respondents were more likely to indicate
family members attended residential schools. Most prevalent of these were their siblings (55%),
grandparents (54%), aunts or uncles (50%) and fathers (44%). Just slightly less prevalent were
mothers (36%), great-grandparents (22%), or other family members 30%. Even though many of

&*!
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them did not personally attend residential school, it was clear in the focus groups they were
impacted by the experiences of their family members.

³,KDYHWKLVSUREOHPZLWKWKHLUIRUFHGUHOLJLRXVEHOLHIV,FDQKRQHVWO\VD\,KDYH
KDWUHGIRUWKHFKXUFK´

³,WKLQNRIDOORIWKHWKLQJVZHORVWWKURXJKUHVLGHQWLDOVFKRROV,ZRQGHUKRZRXU
communities might have been different if our parents had not experienced what
WKH\GLG´

³,WKXUWVPHWRKHDUWKHVHVWRULHV´

³7KHPRUHWKLVVWXIIDERXWDEXVHLQWKHUHVLGHQWLDOVFKRROVFRPHVRXWWKHPRUH
resentful I feel. You will never see me step into a FKXUFK´

³,KDYHa QHJDWLYHDWWLWXGHWRZDUGVVRFLHW\0RVWRIWKHWLPHV,¶PRND\EXWZKHQI
KHDUDERXWUDFLVPDOOWKHVHQHJDWLYHIHHOLQJVEXEEOHXSLQPH´

³I think about what we as Indian people lost ± our culture, our language, our
WUDGLWLRQV´

C. Intergenerational Substance Abuse:

The Needs Assessment Survey reported 70% of respondents grew up in homes were alcohol
was abused23 and 34% grew up in homes were illicit substances were abused.24 Research has
shown that children of parents with alcohol problems have more drug involvement, plus related
mental health and behavioural problems. 25 26 Focus group members spoke of how there was
negative role modeling of alcohol and/or drug use in their homes as they grew up and how this
influenced their use of these substances.

³7KHUHZDVLQWHU-generational use and abuse of alcohol in my family. My parents


abused alcohol and so did their parents. My brothers have had their own
SUREOHPVZLWKDOFRKRO´

³0y parents smoked-up; VR,GLGWRR0RQNH\VHHPRQNH\GR´

³,VWDUWHGDWDQHDUO\DJHEHFDXVHLWZDVDOZD\VDURXQG,ZDVMXVWGRLQJWKHVDPH
WKLQJP\SDUHQWVZHUHGRLQJ´

³,W¶VDOHDUQHGEHKDYLRXU<RXUSDUHQWVRUROGHUVLEOLQJVXVH)ULHQGVDQG
UHODWLYHVXVHZKHQWKH\FRPHRYHU´

³,WUXQVLQWKHIDPLO\´

³,¶YHQHYHUVHHQDQ\RWKHUOLIHVW\OH´

³6RPHSDUHQWVEX\DOFRKROIRUWKHLUNLGV6RPHSDUHQWVVXSSO\WKHLUNLGVZLWK
PDULMXDQD´

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³,W¶VQRUPDO3DUHQWVGRLW, VRNLGVGRLWWRR´

³'UXJVZHUHHDVLly accessible in my home. They were as near as the coffee


WDEOH´

³7KHUHZDVQRKHDOWK\UROHPRGHOLQJLQP\KRPHZKHQLWFDPHWRGULQNLQJ´

³7KHUHZDVDIDPLO\H[SHFWDWLRQWKDW\RXXVH(YHU\RQHLQWKHIDPLO\XVHG´

³:HGUDQNZLWKRXUSDUHQWVHYHQEHIRUH LWZDVOHJDOIRUXVWRGULQN´

³0HQWRUVKLS....mRPDQGGDGXVHG,XVHGWRR´

³...jXVWEHFDXVHRIZKDWZHVHH:HZDQWWRWU\LWWRR´

µ0\SDUHQWVZHUHDOZD\VGUXQN7KDW¶VZK\,HQGHGXSLQIRVWHUFDUH´

³,WLVQRUPDOL]HGLQWKHIDPLO\3DUHQWVDUHusing with kids. It is how kids learn to


VRFLDOL]H´

D. Mental Health and Psychological Distress:27

The Needs Assessment Survey examined respondent mental health using the General Health
Questionnaire (GHQ), a standardized instrument widely used in survey research. The GHQ
examines indicators of psychological distress measured by 12 items over a time frame of the
past two few weeks. A total score of four or more indicates elevated levels of psychological
distress.

The Needs Assessment Survey found that of the 12 mental health and psychological indicators,
the highest percent of respondents reported feeling unhappy or depressed (30%), followed by
lost sleep over worry (29%), felt constantly under strain (27%), felt they could not get over their
difficulties (25%), felt they were losing confidence in themselves (24%), been unable to face up
to problems (20%), been unable to enjoy normal day-to-day activities (18%), did not feel they
were playing a useful part in things (16%), thought of themselves as worthless persons or had
been feeling unhappy (15%), been unable to concentrate on tasks (14%), and did not feel
capable of making decisions (12%).

Chart 26 shows respondent mental health and psychological distress indicators by gender.

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9*+&#"++.D !'+&.E"F.G""H+.;7.I"%<"#
6'*%7.6*8"#.9*+&#*$&.:;,#*(*%'-.:<<*$&*,%.=""<+.:++"++>"%&.
5?#8"7

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+,96C968.02.1-/2.51.5.;04+,/-11.͙

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2-/+.?03/7.60+.8-+.0@-4.79229?3/+9-1 E5/-

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797.60+.2--/.?5:5>/-.02.=5C968.͙

797.60+.2--/.<03.54-.:/5<968.5.͙

/01+.1/--:.0@-4.;044<

365>/-.+0.?06?-6+45+-.06.+51C1

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Men were less likely to report feelings of psychological distress across the indicators than
women. Women were significantly more likely than men to have lost sleep over worry (35% and
20%),

The Needs Assessment Survey also asked respondents whether they thought about suicide in
the two weeks preceding the survey. Seventeen percent (17%) of respondents reported they
had. There was no significant difference in the percentage of men and women having suicide
ideation in this period (15% and 1%).

Focus group members spoke a lot about the mental health issues that plagued them during their
lives and said that these stressors contributed in a direct and meaningful way to their substance
abuse.

&+!
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E. Child Abuse/Neglect:

³,NQRZ,KDYHLVVXHVUHODWHGWRIHDURIDEDQGRQPHQWDQGUHMHFWLRQ,JUHZXSLQD
home where alcohol was abused and us kids were always being taken into care or
KHUGHGRIIWRUHODWLYHV´

³,KDGDORWRIVKDPHDERXWP\FKLOGKRRG´

³,was physical and emotionally abused when I was growing up. I drank because I
GLGQ¶WZDQWWRWKLQNDERXWLW´

F. Low Self-Esteem:

³,GLGQ¶WIHHOJRRGDERXWP\VHOI,DOZD\VIHOWLQDGHTXDWH,IHOW,GLGQ¶WEHORQJRUILW
LQ´

³,KDGORZVHOI-esteem. I was DOZD\VWROGWKDW,ZRXOGQ¶WDPRXQWWRDQ\WKLQJ0\


PRPDQGGDGKDGQRUHDOSDUHQWLQJVNLOOV´

³, GUDQN RXW RI VHOI-pity. I drank to forget my childhood, forget my bills, and
IRUJHWP\PDULWDOSUREOHPV,IHOWVRUU\IRUP\VHOI,WZDVHYHU\RQHHOVH¶VIault. I
ZDVDYLFWLPRUDWOHDVWWKDWLVZKDW,WROGP\VHOI´

³*LUOV GR LW EHFDXVH RI WKHLU LQVHFXULWLHV  7KH\ GRQ¶W OLNH WKHLU ORRNV RU WKH\ DUH
WRRIDW&RNHKHOSV\RXNHHSWKLQ´

G. Interpersonal Issues:

³0\IDPLO\KDGKLJKH[SHFWDWLRQVRIPH,XVHGDV DIRUPRIUHEHOOLRQ´

³/DFNRIIDPLO\LQYROYHPHQWDQGVXSSRUW1RHPRWLRQDOVXSSRUWIURPIDPLO\´

³,KDGJXLOWRYHUQRWKDYLQJP\IDPLO\,ZDVDEXVLYHLQP\UHODWLRQVKLSZLWKP\
partner. There was a lot of domestic violence. I was both the perpetrator and the
victim of DEXVH´

³,¶GJHWMHDORXVRIP\SDUWQHU,¶GXVHRXUSUREOHPVDVDQH[FXVHWRGULQNRUGR
GUXJV´

³IDPLO\EUHDN-ups - WKHVHSDUDWLRQDQGGLYRUFH/RVLQJP\NLGV´

³...:LWQHVVLQJDEXVHLQP\IDPLO\´

³3DUHQWVGRQ¶WOLNH it so you do iW,W¶VDIRUPRIUHEHOOLRQ´

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H. Escapism:

³,GUDQNIRUVKHHUDYRLGDQFH,WLVHDVLHUWRVLWLQWKHEDUDQGJHWGUXQNWKDQIDFH
\RXUIDPLO\´

³,GLGQ¶WZDQWWKHUHVSRQVLELOLWLHVRIOLIH´

³,XVHGWRHVFDSHUHDOLW\,GLGQ¶WOLNHP\OLIH,ORRNHGIRUmyself in the bottom of a


ERWWOH´

³,¶m a single parent. I have a lot of stressors in my life ± money, raising my child
alone, too much responsibility. I would go out and use because I needed a break.
,QHHGHGWRIRUJHWDERXWLWIRUDOLWWOHELW´

Several focus group members said that alcohol or marijuana helped them overcome their social
anxieties.

³$OFRKROPDGHPHIHHOOHVVLQKLELWHG,I,GUDQN,FRXOGRYHUFRPHP\VRFLDO
DQ[LHW\,IHOW,ZDVLQFRQWUROZKHQ,XVHG,WPDGHPHIHHOJRRG´

³,WOHWPHGRWKLQJVWKDW,ZRXOGQ¶WQRUPDOO\GR± socialize, dance. If I used


DOFRKRO,FRXOGKDYHIXQ´

³,¶GKDYHWRKDYHDGULQNRUVPRNHDMRLQWEHIRUH,ZHQWRXW´

³$OFRKROPDGHPHIHHOWKDW,ZDVLQFRQWURO´

³I self-medicated before I went out into the world. I felt less anxious and more like
,FRXOGKDQGOHWKLQJVEHWWHU´

I. Prejudice and Discrimination:

(QFRXQWHUV ZLWK SUHMXGLFH DQG UDFLDO GLVFULPLQDWLRQ DUH SDUW RI $ERULJLQDO SHRSOH¶V SDVW DQG
current reality. While many people would prefer to believe that racism and discrimination does
not exist, the stories told by individuals in some of our focus groups demonstrate that this is not
the case.

³$EXQFKRIXVNLGVIURPWKHUHVHUYHZHUHIRROLQJDURXQG7KLVDQQR\HGWKH
WHDFKHUDQGVKHVDLGWRXVµ<RXNLGVDUHDOZD\VFDXVLQJSUREOHPV¶,DVNHGKHU
ZKDWVKHPHDQWE\WKHVWDWHPHQWµ\RXNLGV¶6KHUHIXVHGWRDQVZHUEXWVKHNQHZ
ZKDWVKHPHDQWDQGVKHNQHZWKDWZHNQHZZKDWVKHPHDQW´

³,KDYHOLYHGLQWKH7RZQRI)RUW)UDQFHVIRURYHUILIW\\HDUV0\ parents were


living here when I was born. I always find it amazing that even today, if I get into a
little tiff with a non-aboriginal, inevitably I am told to go back to the reservation
ZKHUH,EHORQJ´

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Métis members of the focus group spoke of their unique experience with discrimination.

³:KHQ\RX¶UHD0pWLV\RXDUHQHLWKHUZKLWHQRU,QGLDQ<RXDUHQRWDFFHSWHGE\
HLWKHUJURXS´

µ,IHOWGLVFULPLQDWHGDJDLQVWDWVFKRRO$OORIWKH,QGLDQNLGVKXQJRXWWRJHWKHULQ
their groups and all of the white kids KXQJRXWLQRWKHUJURXSV$VD0pWLV,GLGQ¶W
IHHO,ILWLQHLWKHUJURXSDQG,ZDVQRWDFFHSWHGE\HLWKHUJURXS´

³7KH\FDOOHGXVZKLWH,QGLDQVZKHQZHZHQWWRWKHUHVHUYHWRYLVLWP\IDWKHU¶V
IDPLO\,WZDVQRWDWHUPRIHQGHDUPHQW´

³:KHQ\RXDUH0pWLV\RXGRQ¶WTXLWHNQRZZKR\RXDUHDQGZKHUH\RXILWLQ
3HRSOHWHOO\RXWKDW\RXGRQ¶WORRN$ERULJLQDO´

J. Peer Pressure:

Participants in the focus groups, regardless of age or gender, said peer pressure is a major
reason why individuals decide to drink and why they continue to drink into their adult life.

³$OOP\JLUOIULHQGVGULQN,WLVKRZ\RXVRFLDOL]H,WLVWKHDFFHSWHGWKLQJWRGR´

³(YHU\RQHJRHVWRWKH:KLWH3LQHWRUHOD[DQGFRPHGRZQDIWHUZRUNLQJRU
playing sports. It is part of the culture. Guys who work hard deserve to have a
GULQNRUWZR<RXIHHO\RXGHVHUYHLW,W¶VNLQGRIOLNHDUHZDUG,W¶VDOVRDPDOH
ERQGLQJWKLQJ´

³<RXUIULHQGVZDQWWRJRRXW<RXFDQ¶WVD\QR´

³7RVRFLDOL]HQRRQHZDQWVWRIHHOOHIWRXW´

In the youth focus groups, participants spoke about the need to fit into their peer group and how
the peer group influences the decision of youth to use.

³<RXWKLQNLWLVFRRO<RXUIULHQGVGRLWDQG\RXZDQWWRILWLQ´

³*X\VILUVWVWDUWXVLQJRXWRIFXULRVLW\<RX see others doing it. You want to


NQRZKRZLWIHHOV(YHU\RQHZDQWVWRWU\LW´

³*LUOVJHWLQLWLDWHGLQWRXVLQJE\WKHLUER\IULHQGV7KH\WHOO\RXWRWU\LW<RXGRLW
because your pressured into it but you also want to be part of the group and
because \RXZDQWWKHJX\WROLNH\RX´

³(YHU\RQHGRHVLW´

³<RXVHHLWRQ79<RXVHHWKHDGXOWVRQ79GULQNLQJLQWKHEDURIIHULQJSHRSOH
drinks when they come to their home, having booze at sporting events, having
wine with their meals. Adults use. You wanWWRIHHOROGHUVR\RXXVHLWWRR´

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³,ZDVLQWURGXFHGWRLWDWDQHDUO\DJHE\IDPLO\DQGIULHQGV´

³)HPDOHVDUHPRUHSUHVVXUHGE\WKHLUPDOHIULHQGVWKDQWKHLUIHPDOHIULHQGV´

³'UXJVDWWUDFWpeople. You have more friends if you use drugs´

Communities send mixed messages about the acceptability of drinking. The contradictions
were not lost on the youth who spoke about them in the focus groups.

³2XUOHDGHUVDGYHUWLVHDOFRKROXVH-XVWORRNDWWKHEDVVWRXUQDPHQW7KHELJ
HYHQWLVWKHEHHUJDUGHQ´

³6RFLDOHYHQWVLQ$WLNRNDQVHHPWREHRUJDQL]HGDURXQGGULQNLQJ7KH\XVH
drinking to raise funds but many of these events are just an excuse for adults to
JHWVWLQNLQJGUXQN´

K. Boredom & High Cost of Participation:

Both First Nation and Métis youth said that boredom is a major contributor to youth in the Rainy
River District using alcohol and/or drugs.

The First Nation youth said that some of their communities lack any recreational facilities or
places where youth can congregate. While many First Nations organize sports such as hockey
in the winter and baseball in the summer, some youth said that these activities are exclusionary.
1RWDOO\RXWKFDQ³PDNHWKHWHDP´0RVWRIWKHWHDPVSRUWVDUHRUJDQL]HGIRUPDOHV7KHFRVW
of purchasing needed equipment is prohibitive for single parent families, low income families
and families with several children. Some First Nation youth said that team sports do not interest
them but there are no or few alternatives.

Aboriginal youth in the urban areas also said there is little for them to do with their leisure time.
Again, the focus on organized sports and the high cost of participation, including the cost of
travel to team competitions, restricted access.

Aboriginal youth in Fort Frances complained about the lack of a movie theatre in town. The
nearest movie theatre is situated across the Canada-U.S. border in International Falls,
Minnesota. The youth said that many of them feel uncomfortable crossing the border and
occasionally, feel harassed by custom officers. Some said that going across the border is not an
option for them. They lack a passport or they have a police record.

³7KHUHLVQRWKLQJWRGRLQWKLVFRPPXQLW\´

³,W¶VVRPHWKLQJWRGR7KHUHLVQRWKLQJWRGRLQWKLVFRPPXQLW\H[FHSW
snowmobiling in WKHZLQWHUDQGEDVHEDOOLQWKHVXPPHU´

³$WLNRNDQLVVRERULQJ´

³'UXJVSURYLGH\RXZLWKVRPHH[FLWHPHQW,W¶VVRERULQJRQWKHUHVHUYH´

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³There are QRVXEVWDQFHIUHHDFWLYLWLHVDYDLODEOHWR\RXWK´

³7KHUHLVQRPRYLHWKHDWUHLQ)RUW)UDQFHV,WLVexpensive to see a movie in


International Falls. <RXWKGRQ¶WKDYHDSDVVSRUW<RXJHWKDVVOHGDWWKHERUGHU´

³<RXFDQJRVQRZPRELOLQJLI\RXFDQDIIRUGDVQRZPRELOHDQGWKHJDVWRUXQLW´

³7KHFRVWLVWRRKLJKWRGRVWXIIKHUH,W¶VH[SHQVLYH´

³%RUHGom. There is nothing to do here. No movie theatre. The skate park has
WXUQHGLQWRDGUXJSODFH´

³<RXKDYHWRKDYHPRQH\WRSOD\VSRUWV$FDVHRIEHHULVQRWWRRH[SHQVLYH´

Adults also said that there is not much for them to do with their leisure time, other than go to
bars or house parties.

³7KHUHLVMXVWQRWDORWWRGRRQWKHUHVHUYH(YHQLI\RXJRLQWRWRZQWKHUHLV
QRWKLQJWRGRWKHUH<RXFDQJRWRELQJRLI\RXDUHLQWRWKDWVRUWRIWKLQJ´

³<RXKDYHWRKDYHDJRRGLQFRPHWREX\DOOWKHJX\toys...the snowmobile, the


boat and the Jet Ski. Not too many Indians have the credit for that. So what is the
DOWHUQDWLYH"´

L. ³Chasing the High´:

Focus group members said that once you start using, it is easy to become addicted to the
feelings that alcohol or drugs produce. You continue to use because you want to keep
experiencing those feelings.

³,XVHGKHURLQDQG,ZDQWHGWRFKDVHWKHKLJK´

³,OLNHGWKHIHHOLQJVLWSURGXFHG,ZRXOGMXVWPHOORZRXW´

³,WZRXOGORRVHQPHXSDQG,ZRXOGIHHOmore relaxed. I liked how it made me


IHHO´

³,W¶VOLNHEHLQJRQDUROOHUFRDVWHU´

³,OLNHGWKHDIIHFWRIGUXJV,WZRXOGPDNHPHODXJK´

³3HRSOHGRGUXJVEHFDXVHWKH\OLNHWKHIHHOLQJV´

³*X\VGRGUXJVIRUWKHWKULOOEHFDXVHWKH\¶UHFXULRXV´

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PROTECTIVE FACTORS:

In the youth focus groups, participants were asked to identify what factors led youth not to use
alcohol or drugs. The participants identified the following:

A. Parental Influence:

7KH\RXWKVDLGWKDWSDUHQWVSOD\DUROHLQLQIOXHQFLQJWKHLUDGROHVFHQW¶VOLIHFKRLFHVYouth said
it is less likely they would use if they their parents didn¶WXVHIt is also less likely they will use or
abuse substances if they have been taught strong family values.

³I was raised to know better. 0\SDUHQWVWDXJKWPHEHWWHU´

³,IP\SDUHQWVIRXQGRXW,ZRXOGEHJURXQGHG´

³<RXZRXOGORVHSULYLOHJHV´

³,ZDVUDLVHGLQDWUDGLWLRQDOIDPLO\7KH\ZRXOGEHGLVDSSRLQWHGLQPHLI,
XVHG´

³<RXKDYHUHVSHFWIRU\RXUSDUHQWVDQGIRU\RXUVHOI´

³+DYLQJSDUHQWV\RXFDQWDONWRRQH¶VWKDWZLOOOLVWHQWR\RX´

³%HLQJUDLVHGZLWKVWURQJVSLULWXDOEHOLHIV´

³+DYLQJIDPLO\VXSSRUW´

³+DYLQJUHVSRQVLELOLWLHVDURXQGWKHKRXVH´

Youth exposure to parental or family use can also lead them to choose an alternate path for
their own lives.

³,GRQ¶WZDQWWRXVHEHFDXVH,KDYHVHHQWKHKDUPLWKDVFDXVHGLQDOOWKH
DGXOWVDURXQGPH´

³,¶YHVHHQZKDWLWFDQGRWR\RXUIDPLO\´

³,ZDQWWR EHOLNHDIDPLO\PHPEHU,UHVSHFW´

³,ZDQWDEHWWHUZD\RIOLYLQJ´

³,I\RXZLWQHVVWKHFRQVHTXHQFHVRIGULQNLQJDQGGUXJXVH\RXGRQ¶WZDQW
to use. Things like parents going through drug and alcohol problems. The
death of a parent and seeing people gRWKURXJKZLWKGUDZDOV´

+)!
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B. Drug Education and Awareness:

Some of the youth said that the drug education and awareness classes they received have
made them aware of the harmful effects of substance use.

³%HFDXVHZHOHDUQDERXWWKHKDUP´

³*URXSVOLNHthis increase our awareness of all the problems associated


ZLWKGUXJV´

³,ZRXOGEHWRRVFDUHGWRXVH´

³,WDIIHFWV\RXUSK\VLFDODELOLW\´

³Doing drugs makes you lazy. You are too impaired to do things.´

³$OFRKRODQGGUXJVDIIHFWV\RXUHGXFDWLRQ,can lead you to skip classes


and therefore become suspended or expelled. You would not be able to
JUDGXDWH:LWKQRHGXFDWLRQ\RXZRXOGQRWJHWDJRRGMRE´

³<RXPLJKWKXUWRWKHUVERWKSK\VLFDOO\DQGHPRWLRQDOO\´

³<RXFRXOGNLOOVRPHRQHE\GULYLQJGUXQN RUJLYLQJGUXJVWRVRPHRQH´

³<RXFDQJHWLQWRWURXEOHZLWKWKHODZDQGJRWRMDLO´

³,ZRXOGEHFRQFHUQHGDERXWRYHUGRVLQJ´

³,ZRXOGEHFRQFHUQHGDERXWJHWWLQJUDSHGRUSUHJQDQWEHFDXVH,GLGQRW
NQRZZKDW,ZDVGRLQJZKHQ,ZDVKLJK´

³<RXFRXOGEHFRPH DGGLFWHGLI\RXVWDUW´

³,KDYHVHHQSHRSOHWKDWXVHDQG,GRQ¶WZDQWWREHWKDWZD\´

³,W¶VLOOHJDO´

³,GRQ¶WOLNHWKHDIIHFW,GRQ¶WOLNHWKHVPHOORIPDULMXDQD´

³,ZDQWWROLYHORQJHU´

³,GRQ¶WOLNHQHHGOHV´

³<RXZRXOGEHDWULVNRIJHWWLQJGLVHDVHVOLNH+,9$,'6´

³,¶YHWULHGLWDQG,GLGQ¶WOLNHLW,DPVFDUHGRILW´

³<RXFDQVHHZKDWLWGRHVWRSHRSOH,WMXVWPDNHVFRPPRQVHQVHQRWWR
XVH´

+*!
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!

³+DQJLQJDURXQGZLWKWKHULJKWFURZG7KHUHLVQRSHHUSUHVVXUHWRXVH
because no one in the group XVHV´

C. Personal Goals:

A number of the youth said that they have goals and plans. They do not want their future
dreams affected negatively by alcohol or drugs.

³+DYLQJJRDOV´

³%HOLHYLQJLQ\RXUVHOIKDYLQJFRQILGHQFHLQ\RXUVHOIDQGKDYLQJGUHDPV´

³,GRQ¶WZDQWP\HGXFDWLRQDIIHFWHGE\GUXJV,GRQ¶WZDQWP\JUDGHVWR
GURS´

³,ZDQWWRJHWDEHWWHUHGXFDWLRQ´

³,ZDQWWRVWD\LQWRSVKDSH,WDIIHFWV\RXSK\VLFDOO\´

³:DQWWRVWD\KHDOWK\´

³0D\EH\RXZDQWWRVWD\LQWKLVFRPPXQLW\DQGOLYHRIIwelfare for the rest


RI\RXUOLIHOLNHDOORIWKHXVHUV1RWPH,KDYHJRDOV,KDYHSODQV´

³8VHUVJHWOD]\7KH\GRQ¶WZDQWWRGRDQ\WKLQJEXWVLWDURXQGDQGJHW
KLJK7KH\GRQ¶WKDYHDQ\SODQVRUYLVLRQ,ZDQWWRH[SDQGP\KRUL]RQV´

³,ZDQWWRKDYHDJRRGMRE,GRQ¶WZDQWWROLYHRIIZHOIDUH´

³,ZDQWWRWXUQWKLQJVDURXQGLQWKLVFRPPXQLW\DQGEHDSRVLWLYHUROH
PRGHO´

³7DNHSULGHLQQRWXVLQJ%HDUROHPRGHO´

³<RXVHHDOOWKHVH\RXQJJLUOVZLWKEDELHV,GRQ¶WZDQWWREHUDLVLQJDNLG
in P\WHHQV´

³:DQWLQJWRIHHOOLNH\RXDUHLQFRQWURORI\RXURZQOLIH<RXDUHQRWLQ\RXU
ULJKWPLQGZKHQ\RXXVHGUXJV3HRSOHGRQ¶WNQRZZKDWWKH\DUHGRLQJ,
GRQ¶WZDQWGUXJVWRFRQWUROP\OLIHRUP\IXWXUH´

³,ZRXOGQ¶WZDQWWRVSHQGDOOP\PRQH\RQ JHWWLQJKLJK´

³'UXJVFRVWWRRPXFKPRQH\´

³,¶YHJRWEHWWHUWKLQJVWRGRZLWKP\PRQH\WKDQSXWLWXSP\QRVH´

+"!
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D. Hobbies, Sports or Alternate Activities:

The youth said that being bored and having nothing to do can lead to a decision to try drugs.
They also said that being involved in a hobby, sport or some other type of activity was a
protective factor against drug use.

³+DYLQJVRPHWKLQJHOVHWRGRVR\RXDUHQRWERUHG´

³,KDYHEHWWHUWKLQJVWRGRZLWKP\WLPHOLNHH[WUD-curricular activities ±
sports, music or drama.

³5HFUHDWLRQKHOSVPHWHVWP\VHOILQSRVLWLYHZD\V´

³<RXGRQ¶WKDYHWRJHWGUXQNWRKDYHDJRRGWLPH´

³.HHSLQJEXV\ZLWKRWKHUWKLQJV\RXHQMR\OLNHILVKLQJKLNLQJH[SORULQJ
VZLPPLQJPXVLFDQGGDQFH´

³%HLQJLQYROYHGLQWKHFRPPXQLW\´

E. Cultural Values:

Several youth said that they were actively involved in different cultural activities. This and a
belief in traditional values, leads them to not use.

³)ROORZLQJWKHWUDGLWLRQDOZD\VPHDQVWKDW\RXVKRXOGQ¶WXVH,UHVSHFW my
JUDQGSDUHQW¶VDQGSDUHQWV¶WHDFKLQJV,EHOLHYHLQNHHSLQJWKHFXOWXUH´

³,SDUWLFLSDWHLQFXOWXUDOHYHQWV

F. Public Perceptions:

2WKHUVVDLGWKH\ZRXOGQ¶WXVHEHFDXVHWKH\GLGQRWZDQWSHRSOHLQWKHFRPPXQLW\WRORRNGRZQ
on them.

³3HRSOHORRNGRZQRQWKRVHZKRXVH´

³<RXJHWVWHUHRW\SHGLI\RXXVH´

³6RPH\RXWKGRQ¶WXVHEHFDXVHWKH\DUHFRQFHUQHGDERXWWKHLU
UHSXWDWLRQV7KH\GRQ¶WZDQWWREHVHHQDVDVFUHZ-XS´

³<RXZRXOGEHDEXPRQWKHVWUHHW´

+&!
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++!
!
Chapter 6: Impact of Substance Abuse
Introduction:
In this chapter, the impact of substance abuse on individuals, families and communities is
discussed using results from the Rainy River District Aboriginal Addiction Needs Assessment
Survey, discussions from the eighteen focus groups and district and tribal health and social
service statistics.

Harmful Effects of Substance Use:


In the Needs Assessment Survey, respondents were asked to rank the harmful effects their own
drinking or drug use had across several domains including: friendship/social life, physical health,
mental health, overall happiness, marriage/home life, work/studies/employment and financial
position. (See the Needs Assessment Survey Report for discussion of methodology).
Respondents were also asked to rank the harmful effects of drug use and alcohol use by a
family member had on his or her (the user¶s) life across the same domains.

A. Alcohol ± Own Use:1

Approximately, 30% of respondents indicated their own alcohol use had a harmful effect on
each of the life domains. Respondents were most likely to report harmful effects of their own
drinking on their financial position and physical health (32% each), followed by marriage/home
life (31%), overall happiness (31%), outlook on life (30%), friendship/ social life (29%), work,
studies and/or employment (28%), and mental health (26%). There were no significant gender
differences in respondent estimations of the effects of their own alcohol use on these life areas
except in two instances. Men were more likely than women to indicate their own alcohol use had
a harmful effect on their financial position (40% and 26%), physical health (38% and 28%).

Chart 27 shows the self-reported harmful effects of the respondents own alcohol use across the
preselected life domains by percentage.

!"#
#
)*'#&+,-.+/'#0123+411"$&5+61+78%+93$6*63+:5"

+-/7/6-78#351-<-5/
D5,AE#1<@0-.1#5,#.C385;C./<#͙
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+,-./012-34156-78#8-9.

% &% '% (% )% *%
!"#$"%&'("

B. Alcohol ± )DPLO\0HPEHU¶V8VH2

Survey respondents were more likely to report a family member¶s alcohol use had harmfully
affected WKHXVHU¶VOLIH Forty-eight percent (48%) stated a family member¶s alcohol use had a
harmful effect on his/her overall happiness, closely followed by marriage/home life and physical
health (48% each), friendship/social life, mental health and financial position (45% each),
outlook on life (44%) and work/studies/employment (43%).

)*'#&+,;.+/'#0123+411"$&5+61+<'0=3>+?"0@"#5A+93$6*63+
:5"

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+,-./012-34156-78#8-9.

% &% '% (% )% *% !%
!"#$"%&'("

!$#
#
C. Drugs ± Own Use:3

Respondents indicated their own illicit drug use had the highest impact on their financial position
(37%), followed by physical health (35%), overall happiness (33%), outlook on life (32%),
mental health (30%), marriage/home life and work/studies/ employment (28%), and
friendship/social life (27%). There was no significant difference in responses between men and
women.

)*'#&+,B.+/'#0123+911"$&5+61+78%+C#2(+:5"

+-/7/6-78#351-<-5/

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+,-./012-34156-78#8-9.

% &% '% (% )% *%
!"#$"%&'("

D. Drugs ± )DPLO\0HPEHU¶V8VH:4

Almost half of respondents indicated illicit substance use by a family member had a negative
effect of his/her life across each of the measured domains. The highest percentage of
respondents indicated a family member¶V financial position had been negatively affected by their
illicit substance use (48%), work/studies/employment (45%), and friendships/social life (44%).
There were significant gender differences across each of the domain areas, whereby women
were more likely to indicate each area had been affected by another family member¶s substance
use.

!G#
#
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Physical and Mental Health:


Substance abuse related health problems can impair personal functioning, diminish quality of
life, limit productivity and threaten survival.

Alcohol is the most common cause of liver failure in Canada and has been linked to stomach,
oesophageal and pancreatic cancer. Withdrawal from alcohol can cause tremors, seizures and
hallucinations. Marijuana contains more cancer-causing chemicals than cigarette smoke.
Cocaine can cause paranoia, constriction of blood vessels leading to heart damage or stroke,
irregular heartbeat, and death. Heroin can lead to overdoses. Because it is usually injected,
often with dirty needles, it is linked to the spread of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C and other blood borne
pathogens.

Substance abuse has also been linked to risk-taking behaviours such as impaired driving, not
wearing seatbelts, having unprotected casual sex, fighting and engaging in other criminal
activity. Risk-taking behaviours can lead to injury and death.

A. Rainy River District Aboriginal Substance-Related Hospitalization Data5:

Working through the North West Local Health Integration Network, the Treatment and Support
Services Project examined substance abuse related hospital admissions for Aboriginal residents
of the Rainy River District across three years. OHIP reporting of ethnicity restricted our
examination to First Nation admissions.

"%#
#
In 2005, there were 22 First Nation individuals admitted to hospital with a total of 26 inpatient
stays, where at least one diagnosis was substance-related. In 2006, this number rose to 31
First Nation individuals with 46 inpatient stays. In 2007, there were 31 First Nation individuals
admitted to hospital with a substance abuse related health problem representing 53 inpatient
stays.

A review of emergency room visits shows in 2005, there were 124 visits involving 78 separate
First Nation individuals with a substance-related health problem. In 2006, the number of First
Nation substance-related emergency room visits increased along with the number of individuals
involved (135 visits by 89 individuals). In 2007, the number of substance-related emergency
room visits rose to 158 visits while the number of individuals declined (80 individuals).

A more detailed examination of the 2007, emergency room visits revealed of the 158 visits, 119
(75%) were alcohol-related; 31 (20%) were for opioids, and the remaining 8 (5%) were for other
substances including cannabis, stimulants and tobacco.

B. Perceived Personal Health Consequences of Substance Abuse:

In the focus groups, numerous individuals spoke about the impact substance abuse/misuse had
on their personal physical and mental health while others spoke of how it affected the well-being
of a loved one.

Abuser¶VPhysical Health:

³,KDYHKHDOWKSUREOHPV,KDYHGHQWDOSUREOHPVGXHWRP\KHURLQXVHDQGP\
SRRUQXWULWLRQ´

³,ZDVKRVSLWDOL]HGEHFDXVHRIP\ELQJH drinking. Some people will not stop until


LWNLOOVWKHP´

³&KHDSEHHUPDNHV\RXVLFN - UHDOVLFN´

³,ZDVDIUDLGWRTXLWEHFDXVH,GLGQRWZDQWWRJRWKURXJKZLWKGUDZDO´

³<RXHQGXSZLWKXQSODQQHGSUHJQDQFLHV6RPHWLPHV\RXGRQ¶WHYHQNQRZZKR
the fatKHURI\RXUFKLOGLV´

³<RXget an STD because you were too drunk to take precautions or you just
GLGQ¶WFDUH´

³<RXHQGXSZLWKDOFRKRO-related diabetes. I was put in hospital for it. When I quit


XVLQJP\VXJDUVUHWXUQHGWRQRUPDO´

³3HRSOHFRPPLWsuicide or attempt suicide. I know girls who are involved in


FXWWLQJWKHPVHOYHV´

³I got hLJKEORRGSUHVVXUHIURPWRRPXFKERR]LQJ´

³<RXKDYHSUREOHPVZLWKEUHDWKLQJEHFDXVH\RXKDYHVQRUWHGVRPDQ\SLOOV´

"&#
#
³<RXORVHEUDLQFHOOVZKHQ\RXDEXVHVROYHQWV´

³7KHUHare so many violent deaths in our communities because of substance


DEXVH´

³,QGLYLGXDOVORVHWKHLUOLYHs GXHWRDGGLFWLRQV´

³,TXLWEHFDXVH,GLGQRWZDQWWRGLH\RXQJ´

³<RXSK\VLFDOO\DEXVH\RXUERG\<RXKDYHWRGHDOZLWKWKHFRQVHTXHQFHVODWHr
LQOLIH´

$EXVHU¶VMental Health:

³,HPRWLRQDOO\VKXWGRZQZKHQ,XVHG,LVRODWHGP\VHOIIURPP\IDPLO\,IHOW
WRWDOO\GHWDFKHGDQG,GLGQ¶WFDUH´

³,KDGQLJKWPDUHVDQG,ZDVGHSUHVVHG´

µ´:HXVHGDOFRKROWRGHDOZLWKRXUHPRWLRQVWRQXPERXUVHOYHV to the feelings we


GLGQRWNQRZKRZWRKDQGOH´

³<RXGRQ¶WXQGHUVWDQG\RXUIHHOLQJVDQG\RXGRQ¶WNQRZKRZWRFRQQHFWZLWK
RWKHUV´

³<RXDUHRQO\DVVLFNDV\RXUVHFUHWV´

³<RXJHWDGGLFWHGWRWKHGUDPDLQ\RXUOLIH´

³<RXGRQ¶WKDYH to be in jail to be iQPLVHU\´

³,IHOWVXLFLGDO7KHPRUHGHSUHVVHG,EHFDPHWKHPRUH,GUDQNThe more I drank,


the more depressed I became. It was a vicious cycle. I just wanted everything to
MXVWJRDZD\´

³,KDWHGP\VHOI,FRXOGQRWVWDQGPH,ORDWKHGZKR,KDGEHFRPH´

³(YHQZKHQ,ZDVGULQNLQJ,IHOWJXLOW\DERXWZKDW,ZDVGRLQJWRP\IDPLO\EXW,
FRXOGQ¶WVWRS$OFRKROLVVRLQVLGLRXV´

³0\JUDQGFKLOGKDVDWWHPSWHGVXLFLGH,GRQ¶WZDQWWRVHHLWKDSSHQ:KHQWKH\
DUHXQGHUWKHLQIOXHQFHWKH\GRQ¶WNQRZZKDWWKH\DUHGRLQJ´

³:KHQ\RXORVHORYHKRQRXUDQGUHVSHFWIRU\RXUVHOILWLVKDUGWRJHWLWEDFN
<RXEHJLQWRWKLQN\RXGRQ¶WGHVHUYHLW You are not worthy enough.´

Premature Death:

Alcohol and substance abuse has contributed to the premature death of many Aboriginal people
in the Rainy River District. Focus groups spoke of these losses.

"'#
#
³,ORVWERWKP\SDUHQWVEHFDXVHRIDOFRKRO³

³,KDGIRXUWHHQEURWKHUVDQGVLVWHUV7KH\DUHDOOJRQHQRZGXHWRDOFRKRO,GRQ¶W
even know what happened to some of them. I am the only one left in my family. I
DOVRORVWP\SDUHQWVWRGULQN´

³7KHUHKDYHEHHQVHYHUDOERDWLQJDFFLGHQWVLQWKLVFRPPXQLW\,ORVWWKUHH
QHSKHZVGXHWRDOFRKRODQGGUXJV´

³,ORVWP\VSRXVH$OOWKLVZDVUHODWHGWRRXUGULQNLQJ´

³,ZRUU\DERXWP\NLGVEHLQJNLOOHG´

³(OGHUVZRUU\DERXWWKH\RXQJHUJHQHUDWLRQV3HRSOHDUHG\LQJ7KH\DUH
following the ways of their parents. Some are overdosing. We have lost so many
RIRXUSHRSOHWRVXEVWDQFHDEXVH´

³<RXQHYHUJHWRYHUWKHJULHI You think about it all of the time. You think about
what might have been and you blame yourself. Would he have been alive if I had
GRQHVRPHWKLQJGLIIHUHQW"´

)DPLO\0HPEHUV¶3K\VLFDODQG0HQWDO:HOO-being:

7KH DGGLFW¶V VXEVWDQFH DEXVH LPSDFWV the lives of everyone who she/he comes into contact
ZLWK  %HFDXVH WKH YDVW PDMRULW\ RI VXEVWDQFH DEXVHUV OLYH LQ D IDPLO\ VHWWLQJ WKH DGGLFW¶V
behaviour has an impact on the physical and mental well-being of spouses, children, parents
and siblings. Families encounter great stress, conflict and anxiety as a consequence of trying to
protect family members from the dangers and harms associated with their substance abuse
while also trying to limit the damage arising from their behaviour towards the rest of the family.

³7KHKHDOWKof family members of users is affected directly or indirectly through


ZRUU\´

³3DUHQWVZRUU\DERXWWKHDGGLFWNLOOLQJWKHPVHOYHVE\WKHLURZQKDQGRU
DFFLGHQWO\IURPDQRYHUGRVH´

³,WWRXFKHVPHLQP\KHDUW,IHHOVDG,WPDNHVPHZDQWWR FU\,GRQ¶WNQRZKRZ
WRKHOS´

³,IHHOKHOSOHVVDQGKRSHOHVVDERXWWKHVLWXDWLRQ,KDYHIHDUDQGFRQFHUQIRUP\
IDPLO\´

³,DPXQGHUFRQVWDQWVWUHVV,QHYHUNQRZZKDWLVJRLQJWRKDSSHQQH[W´

³<RXDUHLQDFRQVWDQWVWDWHRIWHUURUZKHQ\RXOLYHZLWh an adult child who is


XVLQJGUXJV´

³0\ DGXOW FKLOGUHQ¶V XVH RI DOFRKRO DQG GUXJV DIIHFWV PH  , FRQIURQW WKHP DQG
they get defensive. They tell me I have no right to talk because I was once a
GUXQNWRR´

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³,GRQ¶WZDQWWROHFWXUH´

³,DPKXUWE\ P\IDPLO\PHPEHUV¶XVLQJ,WLVWKHVDPHURDG,ZHQWGRZQ´

³,GLGQ¶WOLVWHQWRWKRVHWKDWWULHGWRKHOSPHHLWKHU´

³,I\RXWHOOVRPHRQHWRTXLW\RXPD\QRWVHHWKHPIRUDZHHNEXWWKH\FRQWLQXHWR
use. They hope you will forget about them and what \RXWROGWKHPWRGR´

³,ZRUU\DERXWP\FKLOGUHQHYHQWKRXJKWKH\DUHLQWKHLU¶V´

³<RXDUHDOZD\VWU\LQJWREDODQFHKRZ\RXFRPPXQLFDWHWRDORYHGRQHZKRXVHV
<RXEDODQFHUHDFKLQJYHUVXVSUHDFKLQJ&DUHWDNLQJYHUVXVWKLQNLQJRI\RXUVHOI´

³0\FKLOGUHQ¶VXVLQJLVDJUHDWVRXUFHRIIDPLO\IULFWLRQ´

³0\ IDPLO\ XVHV GUXJV  , IHHO KRSHOHVV  , KDYH FRQFHUQV IRU P\ IDPLO\  , GRQ¶W
ZDQWWRJHWFDXJKWEHWZHHQSUHDFKLQJDQGWHDFKLQJ´

³,IHDUIRUP\FKLOGUHQDQGZKDWLVKDSSHQLQJWRWKHP´

Family Dynamics and Functioning:

In the focus groups, former substance users and family members of users spoke of the
significant and enduring impact substance use has on family dynamics and functioning.

³7KHIDPLO\LVQHJOHFWHG´

³<RXORVH\RXUFKLOGUHQfamily and siblings. You are isolated from them and they
UHMHFW\RX´

³,WVHSDUDWHVWKHIDPLO\7KHIDPLO\ORVHVLWVVWDELOLW\´

³6XEVWDQFHDEXVHEUHDNVGRZQWKHWUXVWLQDIDPLO\´

³<RXVSHQGVRPXFKWLPHDZD\IURP\RXUIDPLO\<RXLVRODWH\RXUVHOIwhen you
DUHDQDGGLFW´

³<RXORVHUHVSHFWIRU\RXUVHOIDQGIRURWKHUV2WKHUVORVHUHVSHFWIRU\RX´

³,WVHSDUDWHVWKHIDPLO\´

³,WFDXVHVWKHORVVRIWKHORYHRIDQRWKHU´

³<RXKLGHDQGDYRLGIDPLO\PHPEHUVZKRDUHXVLQJ´

³<RXLVRODWH\RXUVHOIIURPXVHUV´

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#
³,ORFNP\GRRUZKHQKHFRPHVDURXQG,GRQ¶WZDQWWRGHDOZLWKKLP´

³7KHUHLVDJUHDWGHDORIVKDPHDVVRFLDWHGZLWKIDPLO\PHPEHUVZKRXVH´

³<RX GRQ¶W KDYH D OLIH RI \RXU RZQ  <RX DUH VR ZUDSSHG XS LQ WKH DGGLFW¶V
EHKDYLRXU´

³7KHUHLVD loss of trust and self-UHVSHFW7KHUHLVDORVVRIIDPLO\YDOXHV´

³, ZRXOG HQG-up giving my son money just to get rid of him. It got to the point
where I did not want him around at all because he always was demanding money
and cigarettes. He always wanted something. He never came just to visit me. I
got to resent hLPDQG,ZRXOGIHHOJXLOW\KH¶V P\VRQDIWHUDOO´

Denial, Enabling and Co-dependency:

Families, organizations and whole communities can develop destructive behaviours such as
denial, enabling and co-dependency in reaction to the behaviour of substance abusers.

³'HQLDO´ FDQ EH GHILQHG DV D UHIXVDO WR DFFHSW RU DFNQRZOHGJH WKH UHDOLW\ RI D Vituation. The
denial may focus on refusing to admit how serious the problem is, how it has spread through the
family, organization or community and affected relationships, and on how the family,
organization or community has contributed to the problem.6

³Enabling´ includes behaviours by others that allow people with substance use problems to
avoid the negative consequences of their actions. It can include providing the substance abuser
with money, paying his or her bills, covering up for them, and staying silent in the face of their
repeated inappropriate and destructive behaviours.7

In an organization and/or community, enabling occurs when the organization or community has
a culture that makes alcohol or substance use expected. This may occur when drinking is
SURPRWHG DV SDUW RI WKH RUJDQL]DWLRQ RU FRPPXQLW\¶V DFWLYLWLHV HJ  RIILFH SDUWLHV IXQG-raising
efforts or recreational events.8

Organizations and communities also enable substance abuse when they do not have clear
policies and procedures that encourage the identification and resolution of substance-related
problem behaviours or when they do not follow established policies or procedures.

Enabling also occurs when the community or organization does not provide support
(education/resources, etc.) to assist employers to take effective action in addressing the
negative impact a substance abuser has on the work environment.

³&o-dependency´ refers to being over-involved in another person's life, having a preoccupation


with other people's behaviour and a sense of guilt when not tending to the other person's needs.

Focus group members spoke about how they and others engage in denial, enabling and co-
dependent behaviour.

"*#
#
Families:

³3DUHQWVDUHSURWHFWLQJWKHLUFKLOGUHQ,I\RXUHSRUWWKLQJVparents attack you.


7KHUHLVDFRGHRIVLOHQFHDURXQGGUXJXVH´

³3DUHQWVGRQ¶WZDQWWRVHHLWEXWWKH\NQRZLWLVWKHUH´

³3DUHQWVDUHSDUWRIWKHFRYHU-up. Their children say they need money for


groceries but they know they are buying drugs. They give them money because
WKH\ZDQWWRSURYLGHIRUWKHLUJUDQGFKLOGUHQ´

³7KHEXVGULYHUIRXQGSRWRQWKHEXV7KHSHUVRQ¶V,'ZDVZLWKWKHGUXJVEXWWKH
SDUHQWVZHUHLQGHQLDOWKHNLGZDVXVLQJGUXJV´

³7KHSDUHQWVGRQ¶WZDQWWRKHOSWKHYLFWLP3DUHQWVGHQ\ WKHLUNLGLVXVLQJ´

³,WLVDF\FOHRIHQDEOLQJ3HRSOHEODPHWKHFRPPXQLW\IRUWKHLUNLGVXVLQJ,WLV
WKHFRPPXQLW\¶VIDXOWEHFDXVHWKH%DQGGLGQRWGRWKLVWKDWRUWKHRWKHUWKLQJ
7KH%DQGGLGQ¶WFDXVHSHRSOHWRXVH7KH\QHHGWRORRNFORVHUWRKRPH´

³0RWKHUVWU\WRIL[WKLQJVIRUWKHLUFKLOGUHQEXWWKH\HQG-XSHQDEOLQJWKHP´

³3DUHQWVDUHQRWVWURQJHQRXJK7KH\HQG-up supplying them with money they


NQRZLVEHLQJVSHQWRQERR]HRUGUXJV´

³3DUHQWVPDNHLWWRRHDV\.LGVZKRVKRXOGEHLQKLJKVchool are just sitting


around on the couch. They drink and use. The parents just let them. Maybe they
MXVWGRQ¶WFDUH´

³<RXFDQJURXQGNLGVZKRDUHVWHDOLQJ\RXUPRQH\EXWSHRSOHDUHWRRVFDUHGWR
UHSRUWWKHP7KH\GRQ¶WZDQWWRDFFHSWthey may be senGLQJWKHNLGWRMDLO´

³,NQRZ,VKRXOGUHSRUWP\VRQ,WKXUWVPHWRWKLQNDERXWGRLQJVR0RVWWLPHV,
DPWRRVRIWDQGKHJHWVDZD\ZLWKLWDQGGRHVLWDJDLQ,GRQ¶WZDQWWRVHHKLP
ORFNHGXS´

Communities/Organizations:

³7KHUH DUH QR FOHDQ VREHU social things to do in Atikokan. Everything revolves
DURXQGERR]H,WKDVEHFRPHDFRPPXQLW\QRUP´

³,I\RXGRQ¶WGULQNWKHUHLVOLWWOHWRGR7KHUHLVQRPRYLHWKHDWUHKHUH7KHWRZQ
supports drinking by promoting it at events like the bass tournament. Just look at
the beer VSRQVRUVKLSV´

³8VHUVGHSHQGRQWKH%DQG7KH%DQGHQDEOHVXVHUV7KHUHLVD3HUVRQQHO
3ROLF\EXWLWLVQRWIROORZHG6RPHVWDIIPHPEHUVGRQ¶WFRPHWRZRUNor they
come in late because they were partying the night before. Nothing is said. No one
LVKHOGDFFRXQWDEOH´

³7KH%DQGDVDQHPSOR\HULVHQDEOLQJWKHHPSOR\HHV,I\RXGRQ¶WVKRZXS, no
RQHFDUHV,WLVMXVWHQDEOLQJWKHXVHU´

"!#
#
³6WDIIPHPEHUVDQGFRXQFLOPHPEHUVDUHXVLQJ%XWZHDUHLQGHQLDORUZHDUH
too intimidDWHGWRVD\DQ\WKLQJ´

³$OFRKRODQGGUXJDEXVHDIIHFWVWKHZKROHFRPPXQLW\:HQHHGDQRSHQ
discussion of the problem:HFDQ¶WNHHSSUHWHQGLQJZHGRQ¶WKDYHDSUREOHP´

³3HRSOHLQWKHFRPPXQLW\NQRZZKRXVHV*HQHUDOO\\RXNQRZWKHIDPLOLHV´

³:HKDYHWRVWRSWKHGHQLDO´

³7KHUHDUHVRFLDOZHOO-being problems in this community that we have never


talked about or dealt with at home or in the community´

³7KHGUXJSXVKHUVDUHSURWHFWHGE\WKHGUXJXVHUV´

³:HDOONQRZZKRLVWUDQVSRUWLQJWKHGUXJVDQGDlcohol. The bootlegger comes to


WKHFRPPXQLW\(YHU\RQHNQRZVZKRLWLV´

³'UXJGHDOHUVFRPHWRWKHFRPPXQLW\RQWKHZLQWHUURDGRURQVQRZPDFKLQHDQG
VXSSO\WKHKLJKVFKRRONLGV´

³7KHUHLVDPRXQWDLQRILVVXHVIDFLQJWKHFRPPXQLWLHV'UXJDEXVHLVMust one of
them. The problem is all we do is complain about the situation. We never get
around to actually doing something about it. It is easy to complain but it takes
FRXUDJHWRJRRXWDQGWDNHVRPHUHVSRQVLELOLW\DQGWU\WRGRVRPHWKLQJDERXWLW´

The Impact of Substance Abuse on Aboriginal Children:

Data from the Needs Assessment Survey, from Weechi-it-te-win Child and Family Services and
focus group discussions indicate the burden of parental abuse/misuse of alcohol and other
drugs falls on their children.

A. Substance Abuse in the Home:

The Needs Assessment Survey found seventy-one percent (71%) of respondents grew up in a
home where someone abused alcohol. In most instances, respondents identified the abuser as
their father (63%), followed by their mother (50%), other family members (39%) and step-parent
(18%). There were no significant gender differences in percent of respondents indentifying
home alcohol abuse or identifying alcohol user relationships. There were however significant
differences between age groups reporting home alcohol abuse. Seventy nine percent (79%) of
respondents ages 50 or older, and 74% of UHVSRQGHQWV¶ ages 25 to 49 indicated someone in
their childhood home abused alcohol, compared to 57% of respondents, ages 18 to 24.
According to the Survey Report this indicates a steady decrease in generational alcohol abuse.9

The Survey also shows thirty-four percent (34%) of respondents grew up in a home where
someone abused illicit substances. Women and men were equally as likely to report this
occurrence (34% and 32%). The drug abuser was most often a non-parental family member
(43%), followed by mother (42%), father (39%) and step-parent (22%). There was no significant
difference in these relationships by gender.10

""#
#
According to Weechi-it-te-win Child and Family Services, 68% of the children in their care are
there because of parental or guardian substance abuse. Thirty-two percent (32%) are in their
care for other reasons.11

B. Children as Victims of Substance Abuse:

Parental substance abuse had a direct impact on the health of their children:

³%DELHVDUHEHLQJERUQZLWKIHWDODOFRKROV\QGURPHRUDGGLFWHGWRRSLDWHV´

³,GLGQ¶WNQRZ,ZDVSUHJQDQW,ZDVOXFN\0\NLGLVRND\EXWLWFRXOGKDYHEHHQ
different.´

³:HGRQ¶WNQRZWKHORQJ-WHUPHIIHFWVRIPHWKDGRQHRQXQERUQEDELHV´

³:HQHHGWRNQRZPRUHDERXWGUXJVDQGWKHLUDIIHFWVRQSHRSOH:HGRQ¶WNQRZ
WKHDIIHFWVRIWKHVHGUXJVRQLQIDQWV:HGRQ¶WHYHQNQRZWKHORQJ-term effects of
PHWKDGRQH´

&KLOGUHQ¶Vbasic needs for food, shelter, education and love are not being met:

³&KLOGUHQ ORVH ZKHQ \RX XVH 7KH\ ORVH WKHLU SDUHQWV WKHLU KRPH DQG WKHLU
VFKRROLQJVXIIHUV´

³:KHQ\RXDUHRQSLOOV\RXFDQ¶WWDNHFDUHRI\RXUFKLOGUHQEHFDXVHRIWKHGUXJV¶
HIIHFWV<RXDUHWRRVWRQHG´

³<RXKDYHYLROHQWRXWEXUVWVZKLOHRQSLOOV7KHNLGVVHHWKLVDQGKHDULW<RX
DEXVH\RXUFKLOGUHQHPRWLRQDOO\DQGSK\VLFDOO\´

³,FRXOGVHHWKHIHDULQWKHLUH\HV´

Children role model negative parental behaviours:

´7KHNLGVNQRZ\RXDUHXVLQJHYHQLI\RXGRQ¶WWKLQNWKH\NQRZ<RXDUHEOLQGWR
ZKDWWKHNLGVVHHDQGKRZLWLVDIIHFWLQJWKHP´

³&KLOGUHQ often UROHSOD\XVLQJGUXJVDQGGULQNLQJEHHU´

³&KLOGUHQDUHUROHPRGHOOLQJGUXJXVHDQGQHJDWLYHSDUHQWDOEHKDYLRXUV´

³:HWHDFKRXUFKLOGUHQWREHFRPHDOFRKROLFV´

³0D\EHWKH\DUHMXVWIROORZLQJZKDWWKH\VHHWKHLUSDUHQWVGRLQJ´

Children may be forced to lie to protect the parent who is abusing drugs:

³&KLOGUHQOHDUQDWDQHDUO\DJHWRFRYHU-up for their parents. There is a family


FRGHRIVLOHQFH´

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#
³,I \RX RZH \RXU GHDOHU \RX KDYH WR KLGH IURP KLP VSHQG D GD\ LQ WKH ZRRGV
You might pick-XS D ZHDSRQ  <RX GRQ¶W DQVZHU WKH GRRU  <RX JHW LVRODWHG DQG
KDYH\RXUNLGVOLHIRU\RX´

³<RXKDYHDOOthis anger, rage, moodiness and paranoia. You believe people are
out to get you. Dealers want their money. You hide and tell your kids to lie for
\RX<RXLVRODWH\RXUVHOIDQG\RXUIDPLO\´

&KLOGUHQDUHHQGDQJHUHGE\WKHLUSDUHQWV¶VXEVWDQFHDEXVH

³<Ru put your kids at risk. I was bringing all kinds of unsavoury people around. I
was placing my children and family at risk due to possible retribution from
GHDOHUV´

³,RZHGWKHGHDOHUVPRQH\DQGWKH\WKUHDWHQHGWRKDUPP\NLGVLI,GLGQ¶WSD\
them what ,RZHGWKHP´

Children are forced into the care of others:

³:HOHWRXUUHVSRQVLELOLWLHVIDOOWRRWKHUVZKHQZHVKRXOGEHUHVSRQVLEOH:HOHW
RWKHUVZRUU\DERXWDQGWDNHFDUHRIRXUFKLOGUHQ´

³There is a lRVVRISDUHQWDOULJKWV´

³&KLOGZHOIDUHJHWVinvolved because you are reported to FACs or Weechi. Your


NLGVDUHWDNHQLQWRFDUHDQG\RXORVH\RXUIDPLO\´

³,EODPHP\VHOIIRUWKHORVVRIP\NLGV´

³*UDQGSDUHQWVDUHUDLVLQJWKHLUJUDQGFKLOGUHQ´

³3DUHQWVHQGXSUDLVLQJWKHLUJUDQGFKLOGUHQRUHYHQWKHLUJUHDWJUDQGFKLOGUHQ´

Children are labelled because of parental substance use:

³<RXUIDPLO\LVVWLJPDWL]HG7KH\DUHODEHOOHGGXHWR\RXUDOFRKROLVPRUGUXJ
DEXVH´

³,JHWFRQFHUQHGDERXWRWKHUSHRSOH¶VRSLQLRQVRIPHDQGP\IDPLO\(YHU\RQHLV
VRTXLFNWRMXGJH,WLVQRWWKHNLG¶VIDXOW´

³3HRSOHMXGJHXVHUV¶FKLOGUHQ7KH\PDNHWKHPSD\IRUZKDWWKHSDUHQWVGR´

³<RXGRQ¶WZDQWWRSXQLVKWKHFKLOGUHQEXW\RXGRQ¶WZDQW\RXUNLGVJRLQJRYHU
WKHUH,WLVDVDIHW\LVVXH<RXGRQ¶WZDQWWKHP H[SRVHGWRWKDW´

³<RXJHWDEDGUHSXWDWLRQ<RXUIDPLO\JHWVDEDGUHSXWDWLRQ´

"G#
#
Childhood Abuse:

When substance abuse occurs in a home, children are more susceptible to abuse. The Needs
Assessment Survey asked respondents aged 18 and over whether anyone in their family or
anyone other than a family member physically, psychologically or sexually assaulted them when
they were a child under the age of 16. Respondents were also asked to identify their
relationship with the perpetrator from a pre-selected list12 or to write in the relationship to the
perpetrator if she/he was someone other than those listed.

A. Childhood Assaults by Family Members:13

Fifty-four percent (54%) of respondents reported being assaulted by a family member before
they were 16 years old. In most instances, respondents reported being the victims of
emotional/psychological abuse (54%), followed by physical abuse (40%), threatened with
physical harm (34%), threatened with physical harm with an object (32%), physically assaulted
with an object (31%), sexual touching (23%), and sexually assaulted (11%).

Women were more significantly more likely than men to say they had been the victims of sexual
touching (34% and 8%) and sexual assault (16% and 3%), and emotional/ psychological abuse
(51% and 37%) by a family member. The Survey Report indicates there was no significant
difference between men and women reporting other types of assault.

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Respondents reported experiencing an average of four of the seven types of assault listed.
Almost half (45%) indicated they were the victims of five or more of the seven types of assault.
Women reported experiencing more types of assault (mean = 4.2 and 3.5 types of assault).

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Respondents reported being assaulted as children by siblings (55%), other family members
(53%), fathers (49%), mothers (48%), and step-parents (17%). Generally, there were no
VLJQLILFDQW JHQGHU GLIIHUHQFHV LQ WHUPV RI WKH YLFWLPV¶ UHODWLRQVKLS WR WKHLU SHUSHWUDWRU  0DOHV
however were more likely to report being assaulted by their father than females (63% and 41%).
Respondents reported being victimized by an average of two the perpetrators listed. Forty
percent (40%) reported being assaulted by three or more of the perpetrators listed. There were
no gender differences in the mean number of relationship categories.

B. Childhood Assaults by Non-Family Members:14

Forty-four percent (44%) of respondents were victimized by non-family members. Respondents


were mostly likely to report emotional/psychological abuse (35%), followed by physical assault
(28%, threats of physical harm (26%), sexual touching (23%), threats of physical harm with an
object (22%), physical assaults with an object (21%), and sexual assault (14%). Women were
significantly more likely to have been emotionally/ psychologically abuse (40% and 27%),
touched sexually (31% and 11%), or sexually assaulted (20% and 5%) as a child.

Child Welfare System:

According to the Child Welfare League of Canada, Aboriginal children are overrepresented as a
population within children in care. It estimates 30% to 40% of the children in care in Canada are
Aboriginal\HWWKH\PDNHXSOHVVWKDQRIWKHFRXQWU\¶VWRWDOFKLOGSRSXODWLRQ.15 According to
Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada,

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there are three times as many First Nations children in the child welfare system today as there
were at the height of residential school operations in the 1940s.16

Over 70% of child welfare professionals cite substance abuse as the top cause for the dramatic
rise in child maltreatment since 1986. Children who have a parent who abuses alcohol and/or
drugs are approximately three to four times more likely to be abused and/or neglected than
children whose parents do not abuse these substances.17 In examining parent risk factors
associated with substantiated child maltreatment, the 2003 Canadian Incidence Study of
Reported Child Abuse and Neglect reported alcohol abuse was identified as a functioning
concern for almost one-third of male and one-fifth of female caregivers.17 Drug or solvent abuse
was identified as a concern for 17% of male and 14% of female caregivers.18

Violence and Victimization:


A. Substance Abuse as a Factor in Criminal Activity:

According to the Needs Assessment Survey19, forty-three percent (43%) of respondents


indicated substance use has been a factor in their criminal activity in their lifetime, and 10%
reported being involved in alcohol related criminal activity in the past 12 months. Men were
significantly more likely to report substance use and criminal activity than women both for, ever
in life (56% and 33%) and in the past 12 months (15% and 6%).

Thirty-four percent (34%) of respondents had been incarcerated during their lifetime. Women
were significantly less likely than men (20% and 54%) to have been incarcerated in their
lifetime. On average, respondents were incarceration for an average of one year. Seventy-two
percent (72%) reported being incarcerated for less than a year, and 28% reported being
incarcerated for one year or more. The number of years incarcerated for total respondents
ranged from a few days to 13 years. Women reported being incarcerated for shorter periods of
time than men (mean = 0.3 and 1.0 years). Of those who had been incarcerated in their
lifetime, 81% stated substance abuse was a factor in the events leading up to their incarceration
(77% and 84%).

Forty-percent (40%) of respondents reported being placed on probation/parole at some point in


their lifetime. Men represented a statistically significant higher percent than women (56% and
28%). On average, respondents reported being on probation/parole for 2.6 years (range = 0.1
to 27 years). There were significant gender differences in the total number of years on
probation/parole. Women had been on probation/parole for an average of 1.5 years in their
lifetime compared with 3.3 year for men. Seventy percent (70%) of respondents indicated their
substance use was a factor with being placed on probation/parole. A similar percent of women
and men reported their substance use was a factor in being placed on probation/parole (64%
and 74%).

Seven percent (7%) of respondents were on probation/parole at the time of the addiction needs
assessment survey. Women were significantly less likely to be currently on probation/parole
than men (5% and 9%). Of respondents currently on probation/parole, 57% stated their

$'#
#
personal substance use was a factor. Women and men (57% each) were equally as likely to
UHSRUWWKHLUVXEVWDQFHXVHZDVDIDFWRULQWKLVHYHQW´20

Treaty #3 Police:

A review of Treaty #3 Police Reports for the Couchiching Sub-Division (Rainy River District ± 10
First Nations) for the period from 2005 to 2007 shows the following:

x There were 299 reports of Level 1 assaults (simple assaults). Of these, 5 reports were
investigated and determined to be unfounded. In the 21 actual occurrences, 10 charges
were laid.

x There were 88 reports of Level 2 assaults (assaults with a weapon). Of these, 8 were
investigated and determined to be unfounded. In the 86 actual occurrences, 57 charges
were laid.

x There were 7 reports of Level III assaults (assaults causing bodily harm). Of these, 1 was
investigated and determined to be unfounded. In the 6 actual occurrences, 5 charges were
laid.

x There were 126 reports of Disturbance of the Peace. Of these, 20 were investigated and
determined to be unfounded. In the 86 actual occurrences, 9 charges were laid.

x There were 126 reports of Domestic Disturbance. Of these, 21 were investigated and
determined to be unfounded. In the 105 actual incidences, 6 charges were laid.

x There were 32 reports of Break and Enter. Of these, 9 were investigated and determined to
be unfounded. In the 23 actual incidences, 3 charges were laid. It should be noted of the
32 reported incidences of Break and Enter, 27 of these occurred in 2007.

x There were 26 reports of sexual assault. Of these, 5 were investigated and determined to
be unfounded. In the 21 actual incidences, 10 charges were laid.

According to anecdotal information from Treaty #3 Police in many of the above incidences,
alcohol and/or drugs were involved.

There were a number of police investigations directly related to substance abuse/misuse.

x There were 31 reports of Driving While Impaired. Of these, 9 were investigated and
determined to be unfounded. In the 20 actual incidences, 8 charges were laid.

x There were 8 reports of Cannabis Possession. Eight (8) were found to be factual. In these
incidences, 5 charges were laid.

x There were 14 reports of Possession of Other Controlled Substances. Of the 7 found to be


factual, 3 charges were laid.

$(#
#
x There were 6 reports of Trafficking in Cocaine. The 6 cases were investigated but no one
charged.

x There were 6 reports of Trafficking in Cannabis. Of the 6 cases investigated, 5 charges


were laid.

x There were 47 reports of Trafficking in Other Controlled Drugs. In the 32 reports determined
to be factual, 2 charges were laid.

x There were 2 reports of the Importation and Production of Other Controlled Substances. Of
these, 1 was found to be factual. There were no charges laid.

B. Substance Abuse and Physical, Psychological and/or Sexual Assaults:

The Needs Assessment Survey reported nineteen percent (19%) of respondents stated they
had been in a physical fight while drinking. Men were significantly more likely than women to
have been in a fight while drinking (23% and 15%). Of those who had been in a physical fight
while drinking. 72% stated these occurred less than once a month, and 28% stated it occurred
at least once a month. There were no gender differences in the frequency of these
occurrences.21

The Needs Assessment Survey also asked respondents about their experiences with physical,
psychological and/or sexual assault both as a victim and as a perpetrator (see the Needs
Assessment Report for methodology). The Survey Report tabulated the assaults by the
relationship between the victim and the perpetrator of the assault. If the relationship was as
spouse, partner or boyfriend/girlfriend, the assault was defined as ³domestic violence.´ If the
assault occurred in the home and involved individuals that had no domestic relationship, the
DVVDXOWZDGGHILQHGDV³YLROHQFHE\RWKHUSHUVRQ V OLYLQJLQWKHKRPH´,IWKHDVVDXOWWRRNSODFH
outside of the home by a non-IDPLO\SHUVRQWKHDVVDXOWZDVGHILQHGDV³DFTXDLQWDQFHYLROHQFH´
since this type of violence generally occurs between friends, other people they know or have
some familiarity with.

i. Domestic Violence:

Domestic Violence ± Victims of Physical Assault:

According to the Needs Assessment Survey22, sixty percent (60%) of respondents reported they
had been physically assaulted by their spouse/partner or boyfriend/girlfriend in their adult life.
Twenty-three percent (23%) had been the victims of domestic violence in the past 12 months.
Women were significantly more likely to report being victims of domestic violence than men
(65% and 52%). In the most recent incidence, 57% of the respondents had been drinking while
71% of the perpetrators had been drinking. There were no significant gender differences in
participant reports of whether they or the perpetrator had been drinking.

$)#
#
Domestic Violence ± Victims of Psychological Assault:

Sixty-five percent (65%) of the Needs Assessment Survey23 respondents said they had been
psychologically assaulted by a domestic partner in their lifetime. Thirty-four percent (34%) said
the psychological assault took place in the 12 months before the survey. According to the
survey, women were significantly more like to report psychological assault by a partner in their
lifetime (72% and 54%) but were equally as likely as men to report the psychological assault
occurred in the past 12 months (36% and 33%). In the most recent incidence, 42% reported
they had been drinking, and 58% reported the perpetrator had been drinking. Male victims were
more likely than female victims to report drinking during the most recent incident (53% and
36%). There were no differences in terms of whether the perpetrator had been drinking.

Domestic Violence ± Victims of Sexual Assault24:

Twenty-five percent (25) of survey respondents reported being the victim of domestic sexual
assault in their lifetime while 7% reported being the victim of domestic sexual assault in the 12
months prior to the survey. Women were significantly more likely to report being victims of
domestic sexual assault both in their lifetime (36% and 11%) and in the past 12 months (10%
and 4%). Thirty-eight percent (38%) of the respondents who said they had been sexually
assaulted in the 12 months before the survey were drinking at the time of the assault; sixty-three
percent (63%) reported the perpetrator of the sexual had been drinking. According to the Needs
Assessment Survey Report, there were no significant gender differences in the terms of the
victim or the perpetrator drinking in the most recent sexual assault.

Domestic Violence ± Perpetrators of Physical Assault:

Forty-six percent (46%) of the Needs Assessment Survey25 respondents reported they had
been the perpetrator of domestic physical assault in their lifetime. Thirteen percent (13%) of
respondents reported being the perpetrator of domestic physical assault in the past 12 months.
Women were significantly more likely to report being the perpetrator of domestic physical
assault both in their lifetime (52% and 38%) and in the past 12 months (16% and 9%). During
the most recent incidence of domestic physical assault, 58% of respondent perpetrators said
they had been drinking and 66% said their victim had been drinking. Male perpetrators were
significantly more likely than female perpetrators to report they had been drinking during the
most recent episode of domestic physical violence (71% and 52%). Female and male
perpetrators were equally as likely to say their victim had been drinking during the most recent
domestic physical assault (65% and 69%).

Domestic Violence ± Perpetrators of Psychological Assault:26

Forty-one percent (41%) of respondents said they had been the perpetrator of domestic
psychological assault in their lifetime Eighteen percent (18%) had been the perpetrators of this
violence in the 12 months preceding the survey. There were no significant differences in the
percent of men and women reporting being the perpetrator of psychological assault either in
their lifetime (44% and 36%), or in the past 12 months (20% and 16%). During the most recent
incidence of domestic psychological assault, 51% of the perpetrators reported they had been

$*#
#
drinking and 53% reported their victim had been drinking. According to the survey report,
female perpetrators were significantly less likely to report they had been drinking during the
most recent incident (45% and 63%). There were no differences between male and female
SHUSHWUDWRUV¶UHSRUWVRIZKHWKHUWKHLUYLFWLPand been drinking (55% and 49%).

Domestic Violence ± Perpetrators of Sexual Assault:27

Five percent (5%) of respondents stated they had been the perpetrators of a domestic sexual
assault during their adult lifetime while 1% said they had committed domestic sexual assault in
the past 12 months. There were no significant gender differences in perpetrator reports of
domestic sexual assault. This may be due to the small number of respondents. During the
most recent incidences of domestic sexual assault, 63% of perpetrators said they had been
drinking, and all said their victim had been drinking. This result must be used with caution
because of the small number of respondents.

ii. Violence by Other Person(s) Living in the Home ± Victims of Physical


Assault:28

Twenty-four percent (24%) of Needs Assessment Survey respondents stated they had been
physically assaulted in their lifetime by someone living in their home that they did not have a
domestic relationship with. Nine percent (9%) said this physical assault took place in the past
12 months. The perpetrator of the assault may include parents, siblings, aunts/ uncles, cousins,
other family members or friends living in their home during their adult life. There were no
statistically significant differences in the percent of women and men reporting being victims of
these perpetrators for either in their lifetime (23% and 25%) or in the past 12 months (7% and
10%). Forty-three percent (43%) of the victims stated they had been drinking during the most
recent assault and 67% said the perpetrator had been drinking. Female victims were slightly
less likely to report both they and the perpetrator had been drinking at the time of the most
recent physical assault (30% and 18%) than male victims (50% and 71%). The gender
difference however was not statistically significant.

Violence by Other Person(s) Living in the Home ± Victims of Psychological Assault:29

Twenty-five percent (25%) of respondents stated they have been the victim of psychological
assault in their lifetime by someone living in their home who was not a domestic partner. Fifteen
percent (15%) said the psychological assault had occurred in the past 12 months. There was
no gender difference between men and women reporting psychological assaults during either
period. During the most recent assault, 37% of victims stated they had been drinking, and 61%
said the perpetrator had been drinking. Female victims were significantly less likely to report
they had been drinking during the most recent incident (27% and 54%). There were no
significant gender differences in the reporting of whether the perpetrator had been drinking
(54% and 75%).

$!#
#
Violence by Other Person(s) Living in the Home ± Victims of Sexual Assault:30

According to the Needs Assessment Survey, twenty-five percent (25%) of respondents sated
they were sexually assaulted in their lifetime by someone living in their home who was not a
domestic partner; one percent (1%) said the sexual assault took place in the past 12 months.
Women were significantly more likely to report being the victims of this type of sexual assault
than men (36% and 11%). Because of the small number reporting past 12 month sexual
assault, gender comparison was not possible for this period. Fifty-six percent (56%) of the
victims reported they were drinking at the time of the assault and 79% reported the perpetrator
had been drinking. There were no statistically significant gender differences in whether the
victim or the perpetrator had been drinking.

iii. Acquaintance Violence:

Violence by Acquaintance ± Victims of Physical Assault:31

The Needs Assessment Survey asked whether respondents had ever been a victim or
perpetrator of violence by or to a non-family person living outside their home. For the purpose
RIWKH6XUYH\5HSRUWWKLVZDVGHILQHGDV³DFTXDLQWDQFHYLROHQFH´

According to the Survey, forty-six percent (46%) of respondents stated they had been victims of
acquaintance physical violence in their adult lifetime, and 13% stated the physical assault took
place in the past 12 months. Women were significantly less likely to report being the victim
acquaintance physical assault in their adult lifetime than men (41% and 53%), except for in the
past 12 months (11% and 17%). Seventy-one percent (71%) of victims of the most recent
incident had been drinking, and 84% said the acquaintance perpetrator had been drinking.
Women were significantly less likely than men to report they had been drinking during the most
recent incident (62% and 80%), but were similar in their reporting of whether the perpetrator had
been drinking (79% and 89%).

Violence by Acquaintance ± Victims of Psychological Assault:32

In the survey, forty-five percent (45%) of respondents reported being the victim of psychological
assault by an acquaintance in their adult lifetime, and 19% said this occurred in the past 12
months. There was no gender difference for either ever in lifetime (48% and 40%) or in the past
12 months (19% and 18%). Fifty-four percent (54%) of respondents who reported being the
victim of psychological acquaintance assault had been drinking at the time of the most recent
incident while 67% said the perpetrator had been drinking. Women were significantly less likely
to say they had been drinking during the most recent incident (62% and 80%), but were similar
to men in their report of whether the perpetrator had been drinking (79% and 89%).

Violence by Acquaintance ±Victims of Sexual Assault:33

Fourteen percent (14%) of respondents stated they had been sexually assaulted by an
acquaintance in their adult life, and 3% said they had been sexual assault in the past 12
months. Women were significantly more likely than men to report being the victims of

$"#
#
acquaintance sexual assault in their lifetime (20% and 5%). Because of the small number of
respondents reporting acquaintance sexual assault in the past 12 months, no gender
comparison was possible. Seventy-two percent (72%) of the victims of acquaintance sexual
assault said they had been drinking at the time of the assault while 77% said the acquaintance
perpetrator had been drinking. The Survey found there was no significant difference between
women and men victims reporting whether they had been drinking at the time of the most recent
incident (71% and 79%) or whether the perpetrator had been drinking (74% and 88%).

Violence by Acquaintance ±Perpetrator of Physical Assault:34

Forty-four percent (44%) of respondents reported they had been the perpetrator of a physical
assault on an acquaintance at some time in their life, and 13% said they had perpetrated a
physical assault on an acquaintance in the past 12 months. Women were less likely than men
to report they had been the perpetrator of acquaintance physical assault in their lifetime (39%
and 52%). Perpetrator gender difference in acquaintance physical assault in the past 12
months was not significant (11% and 17%). During the most recent incident of physical
assault, 67% of perpetrator respondents stated they had been drinking at the time, and 70%
stated their victim had been drinking at the time. There were no significant gender differences
for either whether the perpetrator had been drinking (62% and 73%) or their victim had been
drinking (68% and 71%).

Violence by Acquaintance ±Perpetrator of Psychological Assault:35

According to the Needs Assessment Survey, thirty-seven percent (37%) of respondents


reported being the perpetrator in an acquaintance psychological assault in their lifetime, and
14% reported they had done so in the past 12 months. There was no significant gender
difference in the reporting of being the perpetrator of psychological assault in their lifetime (34%
and 42%) and in the past 12 months (11% and 17%). Fifty-nine percent (59%) of the
perpetrators said they had been drinking at the time of the most recent incident and 60%
reported the victim had been drinking. There were no gender differences between women and
men reporting of whether or not their victim had been drinking (56% and 65%).

Violence by Acquaintance ±Perpetrator of Sexual Assault:36

Three percent (3%) of respondents reported being the perpetrator of an acquaintance related
sexual assault. Seventy-two percent (72%) stated they had been drinking at the time of the
sexual assault and 71% said their victim had also been drinking. Because of low numbers, it
was not possible to report on sexual assaults in the past 12 months or by gender.

iv. Community Perceptions of Substance Abuse Related Violence:

Substance abusers spoke of how alcohol and drugs led them to crime and violence.

³<RXEHFRPHWKHYLFWLPRUYLFWLPL]HURIYLROHQFHZKHQ\RXXVHGUXJV,WOHDGVWR
spousal violence and violence towards your children. You are violent towards the
HOGHUO\DQGHYHQWRDQLPDOV<RXWDNHWKLQJVRXWRQWKHP´

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³$GGLFWVDWWDFNRWKHUDGGLFWVIRUWKHLUGUXJVRUDOFRKRO´

³,ZDVLQYROYHGLQILJKWLQJDQGEODFNRXWVEHFDXVHRIP\XVLQJ´

³7KH GUXJV PDGHPHDQ[LRXV , ZDV DOZD\V DQJU\ , ZRXOGIO\-off the handle at
DQ\RQHIRUDQ\UHDVRQHVSHFLDOO\ZKHQ,QHHGHGDIL[,GLGQ¶WFDUH$OO,ZDQWHG
ZDVWKHGUXJVR,FRXOGIHHOQRUPDO´

Individuals spoke of being victimized when they were using:

³Non-QDWLYHPHQWDNHDGYDQWDJHRI,QGLDQZRPHQZKHQWKH\DUHGULQNLQJ´

³,JRWEHDWXSSUHWW\EDGO\´

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³'HDOHUVWKUHDWHQ\RXDQG\RXUIDPLO\ZLWKSK\VLFDOKDUPLI\RXGRQ¶WSD\\RXU
drug bill. They get you hooked. They geW\RXZKHUHWKH\ZDQW\RX´

Family members are often victimized by other family members who abuse substances.

³,DPHPEDUUDVVHGE\ZKDWP\IDPLO\PHPEHUGLG± fighting, stealing, barging in


RQVRPHRQH¶VKRPH´

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FRQIURQWDWLRQ´

´You are afraid to live in your own home. Are you going to be safe? It is terror
living with adult children who are DEXVLQJGUXJV´

³7KHUHLVSK\VLFDODEXVH± VODSSLQJIDPLO\PHPEHUVDURXQG´

µUVHUVLQWLPLGDWHWKH(OGHUV7KH\FDQ¶WSURWHFWWKHPVHOYHV´

³7KH\JRVRIDUDVVWHDOLQJRWKHUIDPLO\PHPEHU¶VSUHVFULSWLRQV´

³)DPLO\ PHPEHUV VWHDO WKHLU GUXJV  :KHQ WKLV KDSSHQV WKH IDPLO\ PHPEHU¶V
medical problems go untreated. Pharmacies will not give refills for medications
SHRSOHVD\ZHUHORVWRUVWROHQ´

³,I,GRQ¶WJLYHWKHPPRQH\WKH\ZRQ¶WOHWPHVHHP\JUDQGFKLOGUHQ´

Elders and community members spoke of not feeling safe in their own homes or in the
community.

³, DP DIUDLG WR EH DORQH DW KRPH DW QLJKW 7KHUH KDYH EHHQ VR PDQ\ DWWHPSWHG
break-LQV´

³'UXQNGULYHUVLQWKHFRPPXQLW\PDNHLWXQVDIHWRZDONLQWKHFRPPXQLW\´

³,IHDUIRUP\RZQVDIHW\EHFDXVHDGGLFWVFDQJHWRXWRIFRQWURO´

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³7KHUHLVDORWRIILJKWLQJDWWKHVHGULQNLQJSDUWLHV<RXFDOOWKHSROLFHEXWLWWDNHV
WRRORQJIRUWKHPWRFRPHRUWKH\GRQ¶WFRPHDWDOO´

³7KHUHLVDORWRIILJKWLQJDW+HDUWEUHDN+RWHO´

³, GRQ¶W IHHO VDIH LQ WKH FRPPXQLW\ Fights occur in the community out in the
RSHQ3DUWLHVJHWRXWRIFRQWURO´

³<RX GRQ¶W IHHO VDIH  6RPHRQH PD\ NLFN P\ GRRU GRZQ  8VHUV DUH ORRNLQJ IRU
SDUWLHVDQGWKH\ZDQWULGHV7KH\ZRQ¶WJRDZD\´

³,DPDIUDLGWRJRRXWRQWKHZHHNHQG<RXKDYHWRORFN\RXUGRRUV´

³$GGLFWVDUHWKHFDXVHRIWKHEUHDN-ins. We need protection in our own homes.


:HIHHOXQVDIH´

³3HRSOHRQSDLQ-killers for their old age are becoming the targets of drug users.
They are the cause of the break-LQV´

³(OGHUVQHHGWRIHHOVDIHLQWKHLURZQKRPHV´

³(OGHUVDUHDWVHULRXVKHDOWKULVNEHFDXVHRISHRSOHVWHDOLQJWKHLUPHGLFDWLRQV´

Inter-generational Cycle of Substance Abuse:


The cycle of intergenerational substance abuse involves the recurrence of substance abuse-
related social, behavioural and health problems in successive generations of families. As
previously noted, 71% of the Needs Assessment Survey respondents grew up in homes where
alcohol was abused while thirty-four (34%) grew up in a home where illicit drugs were abused.
Fifty-four percent (54%) reported being assaulted by a family member before age 16.

2EVHUYLQJ VXEVWDQFH DEXVH LQ RQH¶V IDPLO\ RI RULJLQ FUHDWHV LGHDV DQG QRUPV DERXW KRZ
drinking is conducted and how one behaves while drinking. Exposure to vioOHQFHLQRQH¶VIDPLO\
also creates ideas and norms about how, when and toward whom aggression is appropriate.37
Children also develop expectations about relationships based on their early experiences with
their parents. These experiences are the model for all future relationships.

In the focus groups, participants spoke about how they exposed their children to negative role
modeling because of their own substance abuse. Many of their statements support the view
this early exposure has resulted in a repeating pattern of substance abuse in subsequent
generations.

³&KLOGUHQJURZXSLQWKDWHQYLURQPHQWDQGWKH\WKLQNLWLVRND\´

³,EODPHP\VHOI,GRQ¶WEODPHP\NLGVIRUWKHLUGULQNLQJ,GLGZKDWP\SDUHQWV
GLGDQGQRZP\NLGVDUHGRLQJZKDW,GLG´

³<RXQJHUFKLOGUHQVHHWKDWDQGWKH\ZDQWWRWU\LWWRR´

³0RQNH\VHH; PRQNH\GR´

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³,WLVDQLQWHUJHQHUDWLRQDOSUREOHP,ORVWP\IULHQGVWRDOFRKRO,ORVWP\FKLOGUHQ
VRPHWRVXLFLGH,ORVWP\SDUHQWV´

³:KDW,GLGZKHQ,ZDVXVLQJDIIHFWHGP\IDPLO\. Now my kids are having the


VDPHSUREOHPV:KDW,GRQRZZLOODIIHFWP\NLGV³

³:KHQ,GUDQN,ZDVQRWDKDSS\GUXQN,ZDVDQDQJU\DQGYLROHQWGUXQN,QRZ
VHHWKHVDPHEHKDYLRXULQP\VRQV´

³,WKLQNDGGLFWLRQLVLQKHULWHG,WLVLQWKHJHQHV,GRQ¶WEHOLHYHLWKDVDQ\WKLQJWR
GRZLWKWKHZD\,ZDVUDLVHG7KDWLVP\SHUVRQDOEHOLHI´

³,WLVLQWHUJHQHUDWLRQDOVKDPH-EDVHGEHKDYLRXU´

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Chapter 7: Substance Abuse Treatment

Introduction:
In this chapter, Rainy River District Aboriginal utilization of substance abuse treatment services
is examined. Also discussed are the reasons why participants in the Treatment Focus Group
and the Methadone Focus Group said they sought treatment.

Overview - Substance Abuse Treatment Services:

Aboriginal residents of the Rainy River District can access treatment services provided by
provincially or federally funded substance abuse treatment facilities or by private, for profit,
treatment centres. These services may be located in province, out-of-province, or out-of-
country.

A. Provincially-Funded Substance Abuse Treatment:

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) is responsible for the delivery of health
services in the province. It recently mandated Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) with
the planning, integrating, managing and funding of health service delivery in their service areas,
including substance abuse services. Ontario substance abuse services are delivered by
community-based organizations including hospitals, community organizations, non-profit and
for-profit corporations. The cost of treatment in these facilities is paid for by the Province of
Ontario either through direct funding or through the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).

In 1999, the Office of Alcohol, Drugs and Dependency Issues, Health Canada1 reported there
were 384 substance abuse treatment services offered in Ontario. This included 110 outpatient
treatment programs, 55 day/evening programs, 43 short-term residential treatment programs
and 51 long-term residential treatment programs, 61 outreach programs, and 64 walk-in/crisis
programs.

Provincially funded substance abuse services follow a continuum of care which includes:

x Initial Assessment / Treatment Planning :

Initial assessments involves the identification of client needs, goals, characteristics,


problems/and or stage of change. 7KH LQLWLDO DVVHVVPHQW IRUPV WKH EDVLV IRU WKH FOLHQW¶V
treatment plan including referrals.

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x Case Management:

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UHVSRQVLEOHIRURQJRLQJFOLHQWDVVHVVPHQWDGMXVWPHQWRIWKHFOLHQW¶VWUHDWPHQWSODQOLQNDJH
and coordination of needed services, monitoring and support and implementation of a
discharge plan. Case management services are provided at all levels of treatment.

x Community Treatment:

Out-patient community counselling/treatment is provided through individual or group


sessions. It can include such approaches as brief intervention, lifestyle and personal
counselling, relapse prevention, family intervention, follow-up and aftercare.

x Community Day / Evening Treatment:

Community day/evening treatment is a structured, scheduled program of treatment activities


typically provided five days or evenings per week (e.g., 3-4 hours per day) while the client
resides in the community, either at home or in a residential supportive treatment service.

x Community Medical / Psychiatric Treatment:

Focusing on individuals with addiction and mental health issues, this non-residential service
is usually offered either through a structured day/evening program or community treatment.
It involves health professionals such as doctors, nurses and staff specializing in the
treatment of concurrent disorders.

x Withdrawal Management (Detox):

Withdrawal management is also known as detox. It involves assistance with the voluntary
withdrawal from alcohol and/or drugs. Withdrawal management may occur in the
community or in a residential facility designed for this purpose.

Community Withdrawal Management:

In community detoxification, clients reside in the community. The severity of their symptoms
determines the level of professional support they receive.

Level 1 clients can be safely monitored by a staff that is not medically trained. Medical
consultation is provided by a physician, an after-hours clinic, and a health centre or hospital
emergency department. Client/staff ratios do not permit high intensity symptom monitoring.

In Level 2 withdrawal management, clients also can be safely monitored by staff that is not
medically trained. As with Level I, medical consultation is provided by a physician, an after-
hours clinic, and a health centre or hospital emergency department. Unlike Level I, medical
consultation and staff resources are available to consider management of clients on
methadone and clients being tapered from benzodiazepines or narcotics.

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In Level 3 community withdrawal management, clients require monitoring by medically
trained staff. Medical consultation and staff are available on a constant basis.

Residential Withdrawal Management:

Residential withdrawal management is provided in a Withdrawal Management (Detox)


Centre, or on an inpatient basis in a hospital. There are three (3) levels of service available.

Level I clients can be safely monitored by staff that is not medically trained. Medical
consultation is provided by a physician, an after-hours clinic, and a health centre or hospital
emergency department.

Level 2 clients can also be safely monitored by staff members that are not medically trained
with medical consultation being provided by a physician, an after-hours clinic, and a health
centre or hospital emergency department. Medical consultation and staff resources are at a
level where clients on methadone and clients being tapered from benzodiazepines or
narcotics can be managed.

In Level 3 residential detox, clients are monitored by medically trained staff. Medical
consultation and staff are available on a constant basis.

x Residential Treatment:

Residential treatment involves the client living in-house with 24 hour access to support.
Included is a structured, scheduled program of treatment and/or rehabilitation activities to
assist clients to develop and practice the skills to manage substance use and related
problems.

x Residential Medical / Psychiatric Treatment:

This in-house treatment is directed at clients who have concurrent disorders (addiction and
mental health) severe enough to require individualized medical/psychiatric care. The
structured, scheduled program of addictions treatment and/or rehabilitation activities
provided assists the client in stabilizing and managing his/her medical/ psychiatric problems,
while also addressing the addiction problem. Clients also have 24 hour access to support.

x Residential Supportive Treatment:

There are two (2) types of residential supportive treatment. Level 1 includes housing and
related recovery/support services such as lifestyle counselling, coaching for activities of daily
living, community reintegration, vocational counselling and mutual aid, provided to clients
who require a stable, supportive environment prior to, during, or following treatment, which
is accessed elsewhere. Level 2 residential supportive treatment provides
housing/accommodation in alcohol/drug-free setting. Addiction services however are not
offered on-site or as part of the housing service.

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#
A complete list of Ontario-funded treatment services by continuum of care category is available
through the Drug and Alcohol Registry of Treatment (DART) operated by Connex Ontario2
Health Information Service located on the web at http://www.dart.on.ca/index.html.

Ontario residents can access substance abuse treatment services in other parts of Canada if
the province in question admits non-residents. In Alberta and British Columbia, residential
treatment programs charge all clients (residents and non-residents) fees to cover room and
board. These fees are generally geared to income and may be paid by employee assistance
programs or other third party insurance companies. Just over half of the treatment programs in
the country accept out-of-province referrals according to Health Canada3, with most not
requiring an extra fee.

The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) will cover out-of-country residential treatment
services for Ontario residents under certain conditions and only on a prior approval basis. The
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has entered into funding agreements with preferred U.S.
facilities to provide residential treatment to Ontario residents. Those facilities are listed on the
web at: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/ohip/outofcountry/us_preferred
providers/ restreatment_facilities.html.

B. Federally-Funded Indian and Inuit Treatment:

The Government of Canada under the Constitution Act 1867 is responsible for Indians and
lands reserved for Indians. Under this authority, by treaty right and by historical precedence, it
provides some health services to Indians and Inuit. The First Nations and Inuit Health Branch,
Health Canada is mandated with the delivery of these services. Through its mandate, it funds a
substance abuse program and a solvent abuse program targeted specifically to registered
status Indians on-reserve and Inuit.

National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program (NNADAP):

The National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program (NNADAP) is administered by the First
Nations and Inuit Health Program, Health Canada. NNADAP is rooted in a 1975 national pilot
program funded by the Government of Canada. Known as the National Native Alcohol Abuse
3URJUDP 11$$3 LWZDVHVWDEOLVKHGWR³VXSSRUWFRPPXQLW\GHVLJQHGDQGRSHUDWHGSURMHFWVLQ
the areas of alcohol abuse, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation in order to arrest and
reverse the present destructive physical, mental, social and economic trends.´4 In 1982, the
federal government introduced the National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program
(NNADAP) as a permanent replacement for NNAAP.

Today, NNADAP funds over 550 community-based prevention programs in First Nation and
Inuit communities. While most community-based programs focus on prevention and promotion,
NNADAP workers also engage in addiction intervention, providing assessments, referrals to
treatment centres and pre-treatment orientation. Some programs also provide short-term
counselling and after care. After care services involve support to clients upon treatment

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discharge and can include ongoing visits, counselling sessions, and referrals to other
community services.

NNADAP also funds a limited number of non-medical treatment services (Medical treatment is
FRQVLGHUHG WR EH D UHVSRQVLELOLW\ RI WKH SURYLQFHV  LQYROYLQJ ³LQWHQVLYH SV\FKRORJLFDO DQG
therapeutic counselling oriented towards social and cultural rehabilitation´5 The 52 NNADAP
residential treatment centres across Canada provide inpatient and outpatient treatment, family
treatment and solvent abuse treatment. There are ten (10) such facilities in Ontario.

The Youth Solvent Abuse Program (YSAP):

The Youth Solvent Abuse Program (YSAP) is a community-based prevention, intervention,


after-care and in-patient treatment program which targets First Nation and Inuit youth who are
addicted to, or at the risk of inhaling solvents. There are ten (10) solvent abuse treatment
centres across Canada. Eight (8) centres provide solvent abuse specific services and two (2)
service multi-addictions. Two (2) of these centres are located in Ontario, one (1) in Muncey and
one (1) in Thunder Bay. Services include pre-treatment, treatment, and post-treatment care in
which the families of the youths are involved. The centres also provide information sessions
and training on solvent abuse for community workers to optimize their support to youth.

C. Private, For-Profit Treatment:

There are some privately owned, publically funded, substance abuse treatment programs in
Ontario anyone can access. The Ontario Addictions Treatment Centres (OATC), for example,
operates 25 Methadone Treatment Centres across the province. While privately owned and
operated, OATC bills the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) for the services it provides.
Services not covered by OHIP are billed directly to the client.

Availability of Substance Abuse Treatment Services in the Rainy River


District:

A. Provincially-Funded Substance Abuse Programs:

There are four (4) provincially-funded non-profit community-based substance abuse treatment
programs in the Rainy River District. These include:

x Riverside Health Care Facilities Inc. ± Riverside Community Counselling Services:

Riverside Health Care Facilities Inc. provides community counselling services through sites
located in Fort Frances, Emo and Rainy River. Services include alcohol and drug assessment
and a community treatment program. The community treatment program includes individual

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outpatient sessions, guided self-change, relapse prevention, harm reduction, combination of
bio-psychosocial, cognitive-behavioral, solution focused, and motivational interviewing
approaches.6 The program works with individuals, couples, or families.

x Atikokan General Hospital ± Atikokan Community Counselling Services:

Atikokan Community Counselling Services provides alcohol and drug assessment, case
management and community treatment.7 Its community treatment program includes individual
and family counselling, as well as, group sessions.

x The United Native Friendship Centre:

Funded through an umbrella project of the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres, the
United Native )ULHQGVKLS&HQWUH¶V$GGLFWLRQ3URJUDPLVORFDWHGDWWKH)ULHQGVKLS&HQWUHLQ)RUW
Frances. It provides culturally appropriate client based initial assessment/treatment planning
and community treatment to Aboriginal people. Its community treatment program includes
counselling, videos and written assignments.8 Outpatient sessions are provided on an as
needed basis.

x Weechi-it-te-win ± Training and Learning Centre:9

The Weechi-it-te-win Training and Learning Centre, a residential treatment facility, has ten (10)
child welfare beds allotted to the First Nations serviced by Weechi-te-win Family Services.
These beds are designated for youth between the ages twelve (12) and seventeen (17). In the
event any of the child welfare beds are not occupied by child welfare cases, six (6) of the
treatment beds can be used for adolescents addiction assessment and residential treatment for
adolescents who have alcohol and/or other substances combined with mental health issues and
related behavioural, social and emotional difficulties.

There is one private sector, publically funded, treatment program.

x Methadone Clinic, Ontario Addiction Treatment Centres:

In November 2009, the Ontario Addiction Treatment Centres (OATC) opened a Methadone
Clinic in Fort Frances. OATC LV WKH FRXQWU\¶V ODUJHVW SULYDWHO\ RZQHG QHWZRUN RI PHWKDGRQH
clinics. The Fort Frances site is the 25 clinic in its network. In offers intake assessment,
methadone maintenance therapy, observed urines, laboratory testing, addiction counselling and
relapse prevention. The cost of service provision is billed to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan.
The cost of methadone is covered through the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan for eligible clients
(family benefits, welfare recipients, disabled persons, etc.) or through the Non-Insured Health
Benefit Program for eligible First Nation members.

Prior to the opening of the Clinic, methadone clients had to travel to Kenora or Dryden.
M.E.C.C.A. has given their clients from the Rainy River District the option of staying with the
program with the understanding that if they chose to do so, they will have to pay for their own

!(#
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travel costs. Since the Dryden Methadone Clinic is owned and operated by O.A.T.C., many of
their clients from the District may now be transferred to their clinic in Fort Frances.

B. Federally-Funded Substance Abuse Treatment Programs:

There are no federally-funded substance abuse treatment programs currently operating in the
District. Oh-Shki-Be-Ma-Te-Ze-Win Inc. provided outpatient treatment services and referrals
until its operations were suspended in 2007-2008.

Gaps in the Availability of Substance Abuse Treatment Services in the


Rainy River District:

A. Withdrawal Management (Detox):

There are no community or residential withdrawal management services (detox) in the Rainy
River District. Individuals requiring detox must travel to Morningstar in Kenora or to the
Balmoral Withdrawal Management Program in Thunder Bay.

Morningstar, a 40-bed, non-medical care and observation unit for clients in an acute state of
chemical dependency, provides 24 hour detoxification services, 365 days per year. It also
provides withdrawal management support and addiction assessments and referrals. It is
operated by the Lake of the Woods District Hospital. The majority of Aboriginal clients from the
Rainy River District are referred to Morningstar.

The Balmoral Centre is a 14 bed, non-medical withdrawal management service operated by the
6W-RVHSK¶V&DUH*URXS,WSURYLGHVDVDIHSODFHIRUPHn and women to withdrawal/detox from
alcohol or other drugs. It also provides 24 hour services, 365 days per year.

B. Residential Treatment Level 1 & Level 2:

There are no residential treatment services for adults (Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal) or for youth
in the Rainy River District. Individuals who need substance abuse residential treatment must be
referred to facilities outside of the District. The nearest facility which services both Aboriginal
and Non-Aboriginal clientele is the Sister Margaret Smith Clinic operated by the St. Joseph Care
Group in Thunder Bay. The Clinic provides residential services to youth, men, women and older
adults.

There are three (3) residential substance abuse treatment programs available to First Nation
people.

Located on the Fort William First Nation outside of Thunder Bay, Dilico Alcohol and Drug
Treatment Centre was established to serve First Nations in the Thunder Bay and Algoma

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District affiliated with its parent organization, Dilico Anishinabek Family Care. Subject to space
availability, referrals are accepted from First Nations in other parts of the province including
those in the Rainy River District. The Centre will also accept Métis referrals and non-Aboriginal
referrals who agree to follow its culturally-based treatment model. Dilico provides short-term
residential treatment to both men and women.

Situated on the Anishinabe of Wauzhushk Onigum Nation territory, the Migisi Alcohol and Drug
Treatment Centre was established to serve the First Nations in the Treaty #3 area. NNADAO
funds the fourteen (14) bed, male and female, treatment centre. Migisi provides a culturally-
based program which includes substance abuse education, case management, individual and
group counselling, professional consultation, and aftercare planning and referral.

Ka-Na-Chi-Hih Specialized Solvent Abuse Treatment Centre a national 12-bed long-term


treatment program for First Nations males between 16 and 25 years old whose lives are
affected by solvent abuse. The program utilizes traditional and contemporary models of
treatment.

C. Residential Medical/Psychiatric Treatment:

No residential medical/psychiatric treatments services situated in the Rainy River District or


anywhere in the North West Local Health Integration Network catchment area for residents
suffering from concurrent addiction and mental health issues. There are two (2) facilities that
offer residential medical/psychiatric treatment in Ontario. Both are located in southern Ontario -
Penetanguishene (Georginawood Concurrent Disorders Program) and Ottawa (Meadow Creek
Residential Treatment, Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre).

D. Residential Supportive Treatment Level 1 & Level 2:

There are no residential supportive treatment services, Level 1 or Level 2, located in the Rainy
River District. Changes Recovery Homes Inc. operates two (2) Residential Supportive
Treatment Level 1 facilities in Kenora, Clarissa Manor and Del-Art Manor.

Clarissa Manor accepts women who are 18 years of age and over who need a safe, sober and
stable environment while working on their sobriety. Clarissa Manor offers its clients pre and post
treatment assistance with developing healthy lifestyles. Clarissa Manor operates on a 12-step
abstinence model. It also assists clients with community reintegration, vocational counselling,
etc. Women may stay for a maximum of six months.

Del-Art Manor offers men a program similar to that offered in its sister facility, Clarissa Manor.
Men must be 18 years of age to be admitted. The maximum stay for men is also six months.

Crossroads Centre Inc., located in Thunder Bay, operates a recovery home for adult men and
women who are in the early stages of recovery from a substance abuse disorder. It has 14
beds for women and 26 beds for men. The Pre-Treatment Program focuses on treatment
readiness and stabilization. One-on-one counselling is provided a minimum of twice a week.

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Group sessions include: stabilization, handling stress, step group, explorations and discussions.
Crossroads Post-Treatment Program focus on recovery support which includes one-on-one
counselling and group work including relapse prevention, life skills, handling stress, step group,
problem solving, and anger management. Crossroads Centre Inc. is open to males and
females aged 18 to 70 years of age. Its facility in Thunder Bay was relocated recently from Lillie
Avenue to North Algoma Street.

Aboriginal Treatment Service Utilization:


,Q WKLV VHFWLRQ $ERULJLQDO SHRSOH¶V XWLOL]DWLRQ RI VXEVWDQFH DEXVH WUHDWPHQW VHUYLFHV LV
examined. The data used is compiled from the Rainy River District Aboriginal Addictions
Needs Assessment Survey (RRDANAS) and from the Drug and Alcohol Treatment Information
System (DATIS) developed by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

A. Rainy River District Aboriginal Addiction Needs Assessment Survey


(RRDAANAS):

The Rainy River District Aboriginal Addictions Needs Assessment Survey asked addictions
treatment questions separately for alcohol and for other drug use such as whether respondents
had ever been in treatment, the number of times in treatment , the type of treatment they
attended, whether the treatment contained Aboriginal cultural components, and if they used
aftercare services.

Treatment Attendance:

Thirty-six percent (36%) of respondents stated they had been in treatment for alcohol and/or
other substances in their lifetime. Men were significantly more likely than women to report
previous substance abuse treatment (42% and 31%). Over their lifetime, respondents had been
in substance abuse treatment an average of 2.8 times (range = 0 to 15 times). Men and women
were equally as likely to have been in substance abuse treatment over their lifetime. Most
respondents had been in substance abuse treatment less than once during the 12-month period
immediately prior to the needs assessment (range = 0 to 9 times). There were no significant
gender differences. Respondents had also been in treatment less than one time before the age
of 18 years (range = 0 to 5 times), and there was no significant gender differences.

Alcohol Treatment:

Respondents stated who said they had attended alcohol treatment programs did so an average
of 2.8 times in their lifetime (range = 1 to 15 times). Thirty-four percent (34%) had been in
alcohol treatment three or more times in their lifetime. Twenty-percent (20%) of respondents
had been for alcohol treatment in the 12 months immediately prior to the needs assessment.
Forty-percent (40%) had been for addictions treatment before the age of 18 years. There were
no significant gender differences within any of these measures.

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The highest percent of these respondents reported attending inpatient alcohol treatment (54%)
followed by residential treatment (34%), A.A. or other self-help programs (28%), outpatient
programs (23%), and Detox (22%). Men and women were not statistically different in the type
of alcohol treatment programs they attended.

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Other Substance Abuse Treatment:

Some respondent attended treatment for other types of substance use an average of 2.2 times
(range = 1 to 12). Twenty-two percent (22%) attended substance abuse treatment (other than
alcohol) 3 or more times. Women attended treatment for other substance use significantly less
often than men (mean = 1.6 and 3.0 times). On average, these respondents attended less than
once in the 12 month-period immediately prior to the needs assessment, and they attended
substance abuse treatment less than once before the age of 18 years. There were no
significant gender differences for either of these.

Respondents who were in treatment were most likely to have attended inpatient treatment
(45%), followed by residential programs (42%), Detox (36%), outpatient programs (15%), and
NA or other self-help programs (13%). Similar percents of men and women attended each of
the types of treatment programs.

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If respondents indicated they had been in any type of substance abuse treatment more than
once, they were asked to indicated how important a pre-selected list of reasons were for their
relapse or need for additional services. The needs assessment instrument also asked
respondents about the importance of traditional Aboriginal cultural components in substance
abuse treatment, It also asked their opinions of addictions and/or mental health treatment
priorities in their community.

Addictions Treatment While Incarcerated and/or on Probation:

Thirty-four percent (34%) of respondents indicated they had been incarcerated at some time in
their life. Men were significantly more likely than women to have been incarcerated over their
lifetime (54% and 33%). Eighty-one percent (81%) said substance abuse was a factor in their
incarceration. There was no statistical significance in between the percent of men and women
who reported substance abuse as a factor leading to their incarceration (84% and 77%).

Forty percent (40%) of respondents reported they had been on probation or parole at some
time. Seventy percent (70%) of those who had been on probation or parole reported substance
abuse was a factor. Again, there was no statistical significance between men and women (74%
and 64%).

Seven percent (7%) of respondents reported they were on probation or parole at the time of the
needs assessment. More men reported currently being on probation or parole than women (9%
and 5%). Fifty-seven percent (57%) reported substance use as a factor in their being on
probation or parole. There was no significant difference in the number of males and females
who reported substance use as a factor (57% and 57%).

)*"#
#
Respondents were asked whether they had been offered treatment for their alcohol and/or drug
problems when they were incarcerated and/or on probation or parole. Thirty-one percent (31%)
said they had been. Men were significantly more likely than women to report having been
offered alcohol and/or drug treatment (38% and 22%).

Respondents also were asked whether they had been offered mental health treatment while
incarcerated and/or on probation. Eleven percent (11%) reported they had been offered mental
health treatment. Again, more men than women reported being offered mental health treatment
(13% and 9%).

When asked whether the treatment received was effective, only 38% of those who received
alcohol and/or drug abuse treatment thought it was effective. Women were significantly more
likely than men to report the alcohol and/or drug treatment they received was effective (58% and
31%). Twenty-nine percent (29%) of those who received mental health treatment reported it
was effective. There was no statistically significant difference between men and women on this
issue.

B. Aboriginal Use of Provincially Funded Treatment Services FY2007-


2008:

Aboriginal people in the Rainy River District access a wide range of federal and provincially
funded substance abuse treatment services across Ontario. They also access substance abuse
treatment in other provinces and out-of-country.

Limitations of the Data:

The data used in identifying Aboriginal treatment service utilization has a number of limitations
and therefore, it does not accurately represent a complete picture of Aboriginal treatment
service use.

The data used in this section of the report was provided by the Drug and Alcohol Treatment
Information System (DATIS) developed by the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH)
for the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. DATIS collects and reports client demographic
and service utilization data from addictions and problem gambling treatment services that are
provincially funded. DATIS does not include Aboriginal clients who access federally-funded
treatment services through the National alcohol and Drug Abuse Program (NNADAP) or the
National Youth Solvent Abuse Program (NYSAP). The data also does not include individuals
accessing treatment services in other provinces or in the United States.

DATIS may under record the number of Aboriginal clients accessing treatment because of
problems associated with documenting ethnicity. Ethnicity reporting requires either clients to
self-LGHQWLI\RUWUHDWPHQWVWDIIWRLGHQWLI\WKHFOLHQW¶VHWKQLFLW\,IDFOLHQWIDLOVWRVHOI-identify as
$ERULJLQDORUWUHDWPHQWVWDIILQFRUUHFWO\UHSRUWDFOLHQW¶VHWKQLFity, underreporting occurs.

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#
Some treatment programs chose not to record ethnicity while others may under record the
number of Aboriginal clients they see.

The DATIS information provided to the Treatment and Support Project contained missing
information. This is the result of some treatment programs failing to make entries into some
data fields in CATALYST. CATALYST is a web-based software application used by most
treatment agencies to input their data online and directly to their database. DATIS, in turn, is
responsible for reporting non-identifiable data back to the Ministry of Health, LHINs and any
other interested stakeholders.

Low numbers and privacy requirements make the reporting of DATIS statistics problematic.
Numbers below 5 in total are not reported.

³2SHQ5HJLVWUDWLRQV´LQFOXGHVDOOFOLHQWW\SHRIDGPLVVLRQV FOLHQWDQGIDPLO\PHPEHU ZKHUHD


client received a service in a Ministry funded substance abuse or problem gambling program.
Substance abuse and problem gambling programs provided by an agency and funded by the
Ministry are mapped to one of the Provincial Service Categories to permit the generation of
statistics by Provincial Service Category. If a client is registered in one or more programs in the
same Provincial Service Category during the same admission, those program registrations are
counted as one registration for the Service Category. If a client has one or more program
registrations in this Service Category in one or more admissions during the fiscal year, one
registration to this Service Category is counted for each admission.

The data used is from fiscal year 2007- DQG WKHUHIRUH UHSUHVHQWV D ³VQDSVKRW LQ WLPH´
Because it represents only one year, it cannot be used to identify patterns or trends in
Aboriginal treatment utilization.

FY2007-2008 Provincial Treatment Utilization:

The data presented here includes all First Nations in the Rainy River District not just those that
participated in the Rainy River District Aboriginal Addictions Needs Assessment Survey.

Demographics:

In fiscal year 2007-RIWKH³RSHQDGPLVVLRQ´10 caseload from the Rainy River District


in Ontario treatment services was Aboriginal.

Ninety-two percent (92%) of the Aboriginal treatment open admissions were Registered Status
Indians, six percent (6%) were non-status Indians and two percent (2%) were Métis.

Sixty-five percent (65%) were male and thirty-five percent (35%) were female. In FY2007-2008,
Aboriginal males in the Rainy River District accessed provincial substance abuse treatment
services at a rate almost twice that of Aboriginal females.

Chart 33 shows the FY2007-2008 Rainy River District Aboriginal substance abuse treatment
population by age group.

)*%#
#
The majority of Rainy River District Aboriginal users of provincially funded substance abuse
treatment services were in the 25 to 34 age group (34%) followed by those in the 45 to 54 age
group (30%). Twenty-three percent (23%) were in the 16 to 24 age group while eight percent
(8%) were in the 25 to 44 age group. Individuals under age 16 years comprised three percent
(3%). Persons aged 55 plus comprised only two percent (2%) of the Aboriginal treatment
population.

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?-D%$-1%&G$,9-/1-#0&8C+D%#/13&*+CD3&2$3#%43/%&!0-3/%D&+7&
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Twenty-one percent (21%) of those admitted to treatment were married, partnered or living
common law. Sixty percent (60%) were single while seven percent (7%) were separated or
divorced. Thirteen percent (13%) had an unknown relationship status.

One percent (1%) of Aboriginal women admitted to treatment was pregnant at the time of their
admission.

Information regarding Rainy River District Aboriginal treatment client education status in
FY2007-2008 is limited as fifty percent (50%) of the Aboriginal treatment clients had an
unknown education level. Of the fifty percent (50%) whose educational status was recorded,
three (3%) had only an elementary school education; twenty-seven percent (27%) had some
secondary school education and twelve percent (12%) had graduated high school. Of the eight
percent (8%) who went on to post-secondary education, two percent (2%) had some community
college, technical college or CEGEP. Two percent (2%) had completed community college,

)*&#
#
technical college or CEGEP; two percent (2%) had some university and two percent (2%)
completed university.

In FY2007-2008, fifty-three (53%) of Aboriginal treatment clients from the Rainy River District
were unemployed and looking for work. Eight percent (8%) were employed full-time and four
percent (4%) were employed part-time. Nine percent (9%) were students or were individuals
involved in retraining. Three percent (3%) were disabled and not working and less than one
percent (0.5%) were retired. Fifteen percent (15%) had an unknown employment status.

Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Aboriginal clients entering treatment had no legal encumbrance.
Eight percent (8%) were awaiting trial or sentencing. Ten percent (10%) were on probation and
less than one percent (0.3%) were on parole. Just over two percent (2%) were incarcerated
DQG WZR SHUFHQW   KDG DQ ³RWKHU´ OHJDO VWDWXV  (LJKWHHQ SHUFHQW   KDG DQ Xnknown
legal status.

Eighty-one percent (81%) of Aboriginal treatment clients entered voluntarily. One percent (1%)
had the choice of attending treatment or going to jail. Eight percent (8%) attended treatment as
a condition of probation or parole. Two percent (2%) were required to attend treatment by a
child welfare authority. One percent (1%) attended as a condition set by his/her family. Three
SHUFHQW  DWWHQGHGWUHDWPHQWDVSDUWRIVRPH³RWKHU´FRQGLWLRQ)RXUSHUFHQW  KDGDQ
unknown status.

Addiction Profile:

Chart 34 shows the substances Aboriginal treatment clients used in FY2007-2008 in the 12
months prior to their admission to treatment.

Sixty-six percent (66%) reported using alcohol in the 12 months before treatment. Seventeen
percent (17%) had used cocaine and seven percent (7%) had used crack. Four percent (4%)
reported using amphetamines or other stimulants excluding methamphetamines. Twenty-nine
percent (29%) had used cannabis. Five percent (5%) had used benzodiazepines and one
percent (1%) had used barbiturates. Two percent (2%) had used heroin or opium in the
previous 12 months. Twenty-four percent (24%) had used prescription opioids. Seven percent
(7%) had used a tobacco product. Two percent (2%) reported using an over-the-counter
codeine preparation. Less than one percent reported using an hallucinogen (0.3%), glue or
other inhalant (0.3%), ecstasy (0.5%), and methamphetamines (crystal meth) (0.5%),
respectively. Some Aboriginal clients were admitted to treatment with no presenting substance
use in the past 12 months (0.8%). Fifteen percent (15%) had an unknown substance use in the
previous year.

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Chart 35 shows the presenting substance abuse problem for Rainy River District Aboriginal
populations entering substance abuse treatment in FY2007-2008.

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Thirty-seven percent (37%) of WKH 'LVWULFW¶V SURYLQFLDO Aboriginal treatment clients in FY2007-
2008 presented with an alcohol only problem. Thirty percent (30%) presented with an alcohol
and at least one other drug addiction. Fifteen percent (15%) presented with a drug only
addiction (excluding tobacco). Four percent (4%) presented with a cocaine addiction and four
percent (4%) had a crack addiction. Twenty-seven percent (27%) presented with an addiction
to cannabis. Three percent (3%) were addicted to benzodiazepines. Two percent (2%) were
addicted to heroin or opium. Twenty-four percent (24%) were addicted to prescription opioids.
Two percent (2%) entered treatment with an addiction to over-the-counter codeine addiction.
Seven percent (7%) were addicted to tobacco. Aboriginal treatment admissions reported less
than one percent (1%) addiction rate to other substances including glue and other inhalants
(0.3%), ecstasy (0.5%), barbiturates (0.5%) and methamphetamines (crystal meth) (0.5%).
Less than one percent (0.8%) of Aboriginal clients admitted to treatment had no presenting
problem. Fifteen percent (15%) had an unknown status.

)*!#
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Ten percent (10%) were on Methadone or another opioid substitute when they entered
treatment. Seventy-six percent (76%) were not on Methadone or any other opioid substitute.
Fourteen percent (14%) had an unknown status.

Sixty-five percent (65%) had never injected drugs. Two percent (2%) had injected prior to one
year before admission. Fourteen percent (14%) had injected in the 12 months before their
admission to treatment. Nineteen percent (19%) had an unknown injection status.

Referral Source:

Chart 36 shows FY2007-2008 Rainy River District Aboriginal treatment referrals by source of
referral.

Fifty-nine percent (59%) of all Aboriginal referrals to treatment were self-referrals. Five percent
(5%) were from family and friends.

Eleven percent (11%) of referrals was from the legal system, excluding police. Less than one
percent (0.3%) was from the police.

Three percent (3%) were from a medical agency ± hospital. Two percent (2%) were from a
physician/private practitioner. Less than one percent (0.3%) was from a psychiatric
service/hospital.

Three percent (3%) were from a residential treatment service agency. Two percent (2%) came
from an Initial Assessment/Treatment Planning Agency. Community treatment agencies
referred five percent (5%) of the Aboriginal treatment population. Less than one percent was
from a Residential Withdrawal Management Agency (Detox) ± Level 1, 2 or 3 (0.5%), a Case
Management Agency (0.5%), Residential Supportive Housing Agency ± Level 1 or 2 (0.5%) or
Community Day/Evening treatment agency (0.5%).

One percent (1%) of the referrals was from a social service agency ± adult program while less
than one percent (0.8%) was from a social serve agency ± child program. Less than one
percent (0.3%) was from a community mental health agency ± adult program. One percent
  ZDV IURP D :RPHQ¶V0HQ¶V 6KHOWHU  /HVV WKDQ RQH SHUFHQW   ZDV IRU DQ ³RWKHU´
community institution/residential program.

Two percent (2%) of Aboriginal treatment referrals were from a Native (Aboriginal) treatment
service while one percent (1%) was from another Native (Aboriginal) service.

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Provincial Treatment Category:

Chart 37VKRZVWKHSHUFHQWDJHRI5DLQ\5LYHU'LVWULFW$ERULJLQDOFOLHQWV¶use of substance abuse


services by Provincial Service Category. Sixty percent (60%) of District Aboriginal substance
abuse clients used Residential Withdrawal Management Services ± Level 2 (Detox). Twenty-six
percent (26%) used provincial Case Management Services while twenty-five percent (25%)
used Community Treatment Services primarily outpatient counselling. Nineteen percent (19%)
used Initial Assessment/Treatment Planning. Three percent (3%) used Residential Supportive
Treatment ± Level 1 which includes halfway houses. Two percent (2%) used Residential
Treatment. Aboriginal clients did not use Residential Supportive Treatment ± Level 2 (housing
without in-house addiction services), Residential Medical/Psychiatric Treatment, Residential

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Withdrawal Management ± Level 1, any level of Community Withdrawal Management,
Community Medical/Psychiatric Treatment of Community Day/Evening Treatment. This is likely
due to the lack of these services within the District.

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µInitial Assessment/Treatment Planning 6HUYLFHV´LQYROYHVWKHFOLHQWDQGFOLQLFLDQLGHQWLI\LQJWKH


FOLHQW¶V QHHGV JRDOV FKDUDFWHULVWLFV SUREOHPV DQGRU VWDJHV RI FKDQJH  ,W DOVR LQYROYHG WKH
mutual negotiation of a Client Treatment Plan including referrals as appropriate. As noted,
nineteen percent (19%) of Aboriginal provincial treatment clients used this service in FY2007-
2008. This represents seventy-one (71) individuals or families. Slightly more Aboriginal females
than Aboriginal males used the service. Of the Aboriginal males, 36% were in the 25 to 34 age
group and 31% were the 16 to 24 age group. Of the Aboriginal female clients, 44% were in the
25 to 24 age group. No Aboriginal person in the 65 plus age group used the service.

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#
Chart 38 shows Aboriginal Open registrations for Initial Assessment/Treatment Planning
Services by age group and gender in FY2007-2008.

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U:3/&$3.-D%$#%-,/&+7&*.3&<$,C:&#/;&<3/;3$
*+,$-.-/#0&!0-3/%D&,H&%"3&>#-/7&>-93$&?-D%$-1%

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The majority of Aboriginal clients accessing Initial Assessment and Treatment Planning were
between 16 and 34 years of age. Aboriginal women accessed these services at a higher rate
than Aboriginal males.

³&DVH0DQDJHPHQW6HUYLFHV´LQYROYHVWKHGHVLJQDWLRQRIDSULPDU\ZRUNHUZKRLVUHVSRQVLEOH
for the ongoing assessment of the client, adjustment of his/her treatment plan, service
coordination, monitoring and support, discharge planning and client advocacy. Chart 39 shows
Aboriginal Case Management Service utilization by age and gender for FY2007-2008.

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Twenty-six percent (26%) of the Aboriginal provincial treatment population used provincial case
management services in FY2007-2008. The highest users were in the 16 to 24 age group
(44%) followed by those in the 25 to 24 age group (29%). More Aboriginal females in the 16 to
24 age group used the services than Aboriginal males of the same age (48% and 35%,
respectively.) Of those in the 25 to 34 age group, slightly more Aboriginal females used the
service than Aboriginal males (30% and 27%).

³&RPPXQLW\ 7UHDWPHQW 6HUYLFHV´ LQYROYHV LQGLYLGXDO RU JURXS FRXQVHOOLQJ LQ  WR  KRXU
sessions approximately once a week. Chart 40 shows Aboriginal treatment clients use of
provincially funded community treatment services by age and gender.

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Aboriginal females in the 25 to 34 age group were the highest users of this service (46%),
followed by Aboriginal males in the same age group (36%). Thirty five percent (35%) in the 16
to 24 age group used the service. There was no significant difference in male and female use in
the 16 to 24 age group. Community services were used by the 35 to 44 age group at a
significantly lower level than the 16 to 24 age group and the 25 to 34 age group. This group
used services at a rate two and half to three times lower than the younger age groups.

³5HVLGHQWLDO 7UHDWPHQW 6HUYLFHV´ LQYROYH WKH SURYLVLon of a structured program of treatment


while the client resides in-house. Chart 41 illustrates Rainy River District Aboriginal utilization of
provincially funded residential treatment services in FY2007-2008 by age and gender.

!"#$%&P()&>3D-;3/%-#0&2$3#%43/%&83$9-13D
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There were only nine (9) Aboriginals from the Rainy River District who used provincially funded
residential treatment services in FY2007-2008. The majority were females between 16 and 44
years of age.

³5HVLGHQWLDO 6XSSRUW 7UHDWPHQW 6HUYLFHV ± /HYHO ´ LQFOXGHV KRXVLQJ DQG UHODted
recovery/support services such as lifestyle counselling, community reintegration and vocational
counselling. Level 1 housing provides a supportive environment prior to, during, or following
treatment which is accessed elsewhere. Included in the service category are pre-treatment
programs and half-way houses.

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There were eleven (11) Aboriginal treatment clients from the Rainy River District who used
provincially funded Residential Treatment Support Services ± Level 1 in FY 2007-2008. The
majority of Aboriginal service users were in the 35 to 34 age group. Of the males using this
service, 80% were in the 25 to 34 age group. Of the females, 50% were in this age group.

³5HVLGHQWLDO:Lthdrawal Management Services ± /HYHO´LQYROYHVGHWR[LILFDWLRQIUom substance


abuse. It includes clients being tapered from benzodiazepines or narcotics and clients on
Methadone. Chart 42 illustrates by age and gender Rainy River District Aboriginal utilization of
these services in FY2007-2008. During this year, there were 221 Aboriginal people who used
this service.

The majority of Aboriginal clients were in the 45 to 54 age group (46%). The next greatest
users of Detox services were those in the 25 to 34 age group (34%), followed by those aged 16
to 24 (12%). Of the Aboriginal males who used the service, 59% were in the 45 to 54 age group
while 31% were in the 25 to 34 age group. Of Aboriginal females using Level 1 Detox, 46%
were in the 25 to 34 age group while 38% were in the 25 to 34 age group.

Treatment Location:

The majority of Aboriginal treatment clients in FY2007-2008 (70%) accessed provincially funded
treatment services outside of the Rainy River District. Only thirty percent (30%) accessed these
services within the District. This reflects a lack of substance abuse treatment services within the
District and the necessity to make referrals outside the area.

Chart 43 shows the FY2007-2008 Rainy River District Aboriginal substance abuse treatment
clients by treatment program.

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Of the Aboriginal clients accessing treatment services in the Rainy River District in FY2007-
2008, eighty-five percent (85%) were registered status Indians, fourteen percent (14%) were
non-status Indians and one percent (1%) were Métis. Males comprised fifty-one percent (51%)
and females forty-nine percent (49%).

Of the Aboriginal clients attending treatment outside of the District, 77% attended treatment in
Kenora. The majority (98%) of these attend programs offered by the Lake of the Woods District
Hospital. Of the Aboriginal people who attended treatment in Kenora, the majority were
registered status Indians (98%). Only 2% were Métis or Non-status Indians.

Nine percent (9%) attended treatment in Thunder Bay. Of these, 73% attended treatment at
programs offered by the St. Joseph Care Group.

Two percent (2%) attended substance abuse treatment services in a location outside the North
:HVW/RFDO+HDOWK,QWHJUDWLRQ1HWZRUN¶VFDWFKPHQWDUHD

Outgoing Referrals:

Chart 44 shows where Rainy River District Aboriginal clients where referred upon their
discharge from provincially funded substance abuse treatment services.

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>#-/7&>-93$&?-D%$-1%&*+,$-.-/#0&UC%.,-/.&>3H3$$#0D
+7&>31-:-3/%&*.3/17

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! "! #! $! %! &! '! :!

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Rainy River District Aboriginal clients left provincial services without
any outgoing referral. Thirty-six percent (36) had no referrals as their case was still open. Of
those who left with a referral, most (3%) were referred to a self-help group such as Alcoholics
Anonymous and 1% was referred to a Native service, other than a Native treatment service,
Native housing or traditional healer/Elder.

Reason for Discharge:

Only 17% left treatment after having completed their service plan. The majority (69%) withdrew
from treatment and notified staff. Seven percent (7%) were transferred elsewhere, other than
hospital. Four percent (4%) either dropped out or were a no show prior to treatment. Two
percent (2%) were involuntary discharged by staff. One percent (1%) left upon the mutual
agreement of the client and the staff. A small proportion left for hospitalization (.4%) or for other
reasons (.9%).

))(#
#
C. First Nation Utilization of Federally Funded NNADAP Treatment
Centres:

Client demographic and service information was sought from the National Native Alcohol Drug
Abuse Program (NNADAP), First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Health Canada for federally-
funded First Nation treatment facilities. However, the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch,
which is responsible for the program, advised the Project Coordinator NNADAP currently lacks
a regional or national database on First Nation clients seen at NNADAP treatment facilities. The
Project was directed to contact each NNADAP treatment centre to obtain the desired
information. Letters were sent in September 2009 to all NNADAP treatment centres and healing
lodges in Ontario requesting aggregate non-identifying statistical information on clients from
Rainy River District First Nations. The letters were followed up with telephone call to each
treatment facility. To date, none of the NNADAP treatment centres have been able to
accommodate WKH 3URMHFW¶V information request. Several said they lack an internal database.
As a result, files would have to be hand reviewed but since they lack staff, they could not
accommodate WKH3URMHFW¶Vrequest.

The NNADAP and YSAC data management system has been undergoing a revamping process
since 2000. The goal was to replace the out-dated Substance Abuse Information System
(SAIS) with a state-of-the-art Web-based information management system based on the Oracle
database engine by 2007.11 The inability of NNADAP regional office or any of the NNADAP and
YSAC programs to meet 3URMHFW¶V data needs would appear to indicate the proposed new
system is yet to materialize.

Factors that lead Aboriginal People to seek treatment:

In all of the Focus Groups, we heard treatment success depends upon both RQ SHRSOH¶V
willingness to accept they have a substance abuse problem and their recognition of the need to
change. We also heard some precipitating event or circumstance usually leads people to this
recognition.

A. Enhance Personal Well-being:

Focus group members said there came a point in their substance use when they began to
experience the negative health consequences of their using. Some said they were depressed,
even suicidal. Others spoke of being told by a health professional to quit or die. By seeking
treatment, people hoped to reverse or mitigate the abuse done to their bodies and regain their
personal health.

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³,JRWVQDN\,KDGWKH'7VDQG,ZDVH[SHULHQFLQJZLWKGUDZDOV\PSWRPV´

³,ORVWLWPHQWDOO\,ZDVJRLQJFUD]\´

³,ZDVGHSUHVVHGDQGRQWKHYHUJHRIVXLFLGH´

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³,ZDVWROGWKDWLI,GLGQ¶WVWRSGULQNLQJ,ZRXOGJHWFLUUKRVLV´

³,IHOW,ZDVWRR\RXQJWRdie. I had seen family members drink themselves to


GHDWKDQG,GLGQRWZDQWWKDWWRKDSSHQWRPH´

³,VWDUWHGWDNLQJSUHVFULSWLRQSLOOVEHFDXVH,KDGDYDOLGKHDOWKSUREOHP%HIRUH,
NQHZLW,ZDVDGGLFWHG,FRXOGQRWVWRSRQP\RZQ´

B. Recognition of the Harm Being Caused to Others:

Individuals spoke of eventually coming to the recognition their substance abuse was not only
affecting their lives but also the lives of their families and other community members. They felt
guilty about their behaviour and what drugs and alcohol had caused them do.

³,GLGQ¶WZDQWWRGREUHDN-LQVWRJHWPRQH\IRUGUXJV´

³WRDYRLGWKHYLROHQFH<RXZLOOGRDQ\WKLQJWRJHWGUXJVWRSUHYHQWZLWKGUDZDO
including stealing money and ripping off the government. You use the system to
get money for your habit such as trying to get travel grant and abusing social
programs, such as welfare and any oWKHUSURJUDPWKDWZLOOJLYH\RXPRQH\´

³,ZDVWLUHGRIDEXVLQJP\IDPLO\3OD\LQJWKHJXLOWWULSDQGWDNLQJWKHLUPRQH\
lying and PDQLSXODWLQJ,ZDQWHGWRTXLWGRLQJWKRVHWKLQJV´

³,ZDQWHGWRTXLWVWHDOLQJSHRSOH¶VFKHTXHVDQGFRPPLWWLQJPDLOIUDXG´

³,ZDVJHWWLQJLQYROYHGLQSURVWLWXWLRQ´

³,UHVRUWHGWRVWHDOLQJRWKHUSHRSOH¶VGUXJV´

³$YRLGFULPLQDODFWLYLW\´

³<RXOLHWRWhe doctors so you can get script. I told them I lost my prescription or
LWZDVVWROHQ,¶GJHWWKHSUHVFULSWLRQILOOHGDQGXVHVRPHRIWKHGUXJVDQGVHOOWKH
others. I was sick of myself. I got sick of my lifestyle and what it was doing to me
and others. 7KHKLJKZDVQRWZRUWKLWDQ\PRUH´

³,ZDVEODPLQJWKHZRUNHUVWKHPHGLFDOGULYHUVHYHU\RQH,I\RXGRQ¶WJHW\RXU
travel grant you are mad at everyone even though you know you want it for
GUXJV´

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³WRFRQWUROP\YLROHQWRXWEXUVWV,ZDVPDGDVKHOODWHYHU\RQH´

³<RXKDYHDOOWKLVDQJHUUDJHPRRGLQHVVDQGSDUDQRLD<RXEHOLHYHSHRSOHDUH
out to get you. Dealers want their money. You hide and tell your kids to lie for
you. You isolate yourseOIDQG\RXUIDPLO\´

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KDUPWKHP,ZDQWHGLWDOOWRVWRS´

³There was so much co-dependency going on. My family had become so


G\VIXQFWLRQDO´

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³'UXJXVHOHDGVWRGRPHVWLFYLROHQFH<RXZLOOGRDQ\WKLQJIRUWKDWGUXJ<RX¶OO
VSHQGWKHIDPLO\¶VPRQH\VRWKHUHLVQRIRRGDQGELOOVDUHQRWSDLG<RXVWDUW
SDZQLQJWKLQJV<RXVWHDOWKLQJVIURPSHRSOH´

³<RXJHWVLFNRIWKHWKLngs that are happening in your life ± the drama. Not having
food, being homeless and not paying bills. You get tired of the addiction. You
GRQ¶WZDQWWKHGUXJVWRFRQWURO\RXUOLIHDQ\PRUH<RXJHWVLFNDQGWLUHGRIEHLQJ
VLFNDQGWLUHG´

³:KHQ\RXDUH an addictDOO\RXFDUHDERXWLVJHWWLQJ\RXUGUXJV<RXGRQ¶WFDUH
about your family and their needs. You develop a tolerance and you want more to
get high or to just feel normal. You will do anything get the drug even hurt the
RQH¶V\RXORYHLIWKH\JHWLQWKHZD\´

³,IHOWVRPXFKJXLOW´

C. Children ± A Strong Motivating Factor:

For some parents, particularly mothers, comes recognition of the harm they have caused their
children. Both fathers and mothers feared losing their children to the child welfare system.
Parents were remorseful and felt they had to seek treatment to keep their children and to make
life better for them.

³<RXSXW\RXUNLGVDWULVN,ZDVEULQJLQJDOONLQGVRIXQVDYRXU\SHRSOHDURXQG,
was placing my children and family at risk due to possible retribution from
GHDOHUV´

³,I\RXDUHDZRPDQDQGSUHJQDQW\RXZDQWWRDYRLGFRPSOLFDWLRQV´

³,KDGWRTXLWRUORVHP\FKLOGUHQWRWKHFKLOGZHOIDUHV\VWHP´

³,ZDVDWULVNRIORVLQJP\NLGV´

³,ZDQWHGWRNHHSP\NLGV´

³,ZDQWto avoid having my children taken away. They had been taken into care
DQG,ZDQWHGWRJHWP\NLGVEDFN´

³:KHQ\RXDUHRQSLOOV\RXFDQ¶WWDNHFDUHRI\RXUFKLOGUHQEHFDXVHRIWKHGUXJV¶
HIIHFWV<RXDUHWRRVWRQHG´

³<RXKDYHYLROHQWRXWEXUVWVZKLOHRQ pills. The kids see this and hear it. You
DEXVH\RXUFKLOGUHQHPRWLRQDOO\DQGSK\VLFDOO\´

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³´0\XVHDIIHFWHGP\FKLOGUHQ:KDWWKH\OHDUQDWKRPHDIIHFWVWKHZKROHIDPLO\
IRUOLIH´

³%RWKP\SDUHQWVDEXVHGDOFRKRO My father was an alcoholic. When I was


growing up, I told myself I would never be like him. I would never hit my wife or
DEXVHP\NLGV,ZDVJRLQJWREHGLIIHUHQWEXWKHUH,ZDVMXVWEHLQJOLNHKLP´

D. Negative Life Event:

Several individuals spoke of a life changing event that made them rethink their substance use
and seek treatment.

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³0\IULHQGHQGHGXSLQWKHKRVSLWDOZLWKDOFRKROSRLVRQLQJ,UHDOO\WKRXJKWKH
ZDVJRLQJWRGLH,WKRXJKWWKDWFRXOGEHPH´

E. Pressure from Others:

Sometimes the intervention of family and friends is enough to get someone to seek treatment.
Some focus group members said they were angry when they were initially confronted but they
decided to seek treatment after having time to think about it.

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³0RPPDGHPHGRLW´

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F. Financial Problems/Job Issues:

Substance abuse, particularly drug use, is expensive. Money which would normally go to buy
groceries and pay bills is diverted to purchasing drugs. Focus group members spoke of
recognizing they had a problem when they were faced with financial problems or the loss of
employment.

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³&UHGLWRUVZHUHFDOOLQJ´

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G. To Improve 2QH¶VFuture:

Some individuals seek treatment because they recognize the only way to improve their future
and to achieve their goals was to stop using.

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³7RJRWRVFKRRODQGJHWEDFNRQWUDFN´

³,KDGSXWDOOP\GUHDPVDQGKRSHVRQKROGMXVWWRJHWKLJK,GLGQ¶WZDQWWRVHH
myself as a druggie for the rest of my life; sitting here on the reserve with every
brain cell I have destroyed. I wanted more from life. I did not want the drug
OLIHVW\OH,ZDQWHGWREHWKHSHUVRQ,RQFHZDVZLWKJRDOVDQGGUHDPV´

H. Recognition that Life Had Become Unmanageable and Change Was Needed:

People said they sought treatment when they realized their lives had become unmanageable
and they were no longer in control.

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³0\OLIHKDGEHFRPHXQPDQDJHDEOH´

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WKLQN,ZRXOGQHYHUNQRZZKDWQRUPDOZDVDJDLQ´

I. Negative Motivating Factors:

As we learned in the focus groups, some people choose treatment for less than positive
reasons.

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FRQQHFWLRQVOHDUQDERXWQHZGUXJVWRWU\DQGKRZ,PLJKWXVH´

³7UHDWPHQWLVDJRRGSODFHWRQHWZRUN drugs. That was my original thinking. Now


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jail or in hospital. Some people want to go to jail so they have a place to stay. I
wanted to JRWRWUHDWPHQWVR,FRXOGDYRLGP\GHDOHUV´

³,KDGOHJDOSUREOHPV,ZDQted to avoid going to jail and having to go through


withdrawals there. I went to treatment because of that and to avoid becoming an
LQIRUPDQW´

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DYRLGLQJWKHP´

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RUGHU´

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Chapter 8: Perceived Barriers to
Treatment
Introduction:

7KLVFKDSWHUH[DPLQHV$ERULJLQDOVXUYH\DQGIRFXVJURXSSDUWLFLSDQWV¶SHUVSHFWLYHRQEDUULHUV
to substance abuse treatment. The data in this chapter is drawn from two sources. The
quantitative data is from the District Aboriginal Needs Assessment Survey. The qualitative data
is based on focus group discussions.

The Aboriginal Needs Assessment Survey:

In the District Aboriginal Needs Assessment Survey respondents were asked to consider a time
when they felt they needed treatment for substance abuse and from a pre-selected list of 20
items indicate how important each item was for them as barriers to substance abuse treatment.
The following chart illustrates their responses in percentage.

!"#$%&'()&*+$,+-.+/&0#$$-+$1&23&4561%#7,+&8651+&2$+#%9+7%

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A:95C3$=*53$23-0.+$32$1:59$273$>27$500909$3.0*34053;
A:9$523$3-:5B$3-0$3.0*34053$=2789$-08@;
A:9$523$3-:5B$>27$500909$3.0*34053$*3$3-0$3:40;
)0.0$523$.0*9>$32$+32@$7+:5/$9.7/+;
?2789$523$1:59$@.2/.*4$2110.:5/$3>@0$21$3.0*34053$=*5309;
<.2/.*4$=*+$322$1*.$*=*>;
)*+$*$,-*./0$12.$3.0*340536$,2789$523$*112.9$:3;

% !% "% &% '% #% (%

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The highest percent of respondents indicated their thinking they could handle the problem
without treatment was an important/very important barrier to their seeking treatment (51%).
This was followed by not thinking they needed treatment at the time (44%), were not ready to
stop using alcohol (42%), were not ready to stop using drugs (41%) and did not think the
treatment would help (41%). Respondents were less likely to indicate parents would not allow
them to go to treatment (19%), there was a charge for treatment and they could not afford it

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(21%), their spouse/partner would not allow them to go for treatment (21%), the programs were
not gender specific (23%), and the programs offered mixed gender treatment only (25%) as
important/very important barriers to their seeking treatment for substance abuse.

!"#$%&':)&*+$,+-.+/&0#$$-+$1&23&4561%#7,+&8651+&2$+#%9+7%&0;&<+7/+$

<.2/.*4$523$L*+09$25$3.*9:3:25*8$J*870+$*59$L08:01+;
G.:059+$9:+,27.*/09$>27$1.24$/033:5/$3.0*34053;
<.2/.*4+$2110.09$4:P09$/0590.$3.0*34053$258>;
F-0$@.2/.*4+$=0.0$523$/0590.$+@0,:1:,;
O27.$@*.053+$=2789$523$*882=$>27$32$/2$32$3.0*34053;
D@27+0E@*.350.$=2789$523$*882=$>27$32$/2$12.$3.0*34053;
A:9$523$-*J0$,-:89$,*.0;
A:95C3$=*53$23-0.+$32$1:59$273$>27$500909$3.0*34053;
M033:5/$3.0*34053$-*J:5/$*$50/*3:J0$0110,3$25$N2L;
A:9$523$3-:5B$3-0$3.0*34053$=2789$-08@;
F-27/-3$>27$,2789$-*5980$3-0$@.2L804$=:3-273$3.0*34053;
A:9$523$3-:5B$>27$500909$3.0*34053$*3$3-0$3:40;
A:9$523$B52=$=-0.0$32$/03$3.0*34053;
)0.0$523$.0*9>$32$+32@$7+:5/$9.7/+;
)0.0$523$.0*9>$32$+32@$7+:5/$*8,2-28;
?2789$523$1:59$@.2/.*4$2110.:5/$3>@0$21$3.0*34053$=*5309;
K27.+$@.2/.*4$2@0.*309$=0.0$523$,25J05:053;
<.2/.*4$=*+$322$1*.$*=*>;
A:9$523$-*J0$3.*5+@2.3*3:253$32$@.2/.*4;
)*+$*$,-*./0$12.$3.0*340536$,2789$523$*112.9$:3;

% !% "% &% '% #% (% I%

H$)2405 H$Q05

Overall, a higher percent of women indicated each of the items were important/very important
barriers to their seeking treatment than men. Items with significant differences between women
and men included they were not ready to stop using alcohol (50% and 36%), they did not want
others to find out they needed treatment (45% and 30%), they did not have child care (43% and
26%), they could not find a program offering the type of treatment they wanted (43% and 26%),
not having transportation to get to a program (41% and 27%), and the programs were not
gender specific (28% and 18%).

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Focus Groups:

There were several focus groups in which participants were asked to comment on barriers to
treatment. The Youth Focus Groups were asked the question: What are the barriers that
prevent Aboriginal youth with a substance abuse problem seeking treatment? 7KH 0HQ¶V
Focus Group was asked: What barriers prevent Aboriginal men with substance abuse problems
IURPJHWWLQJWUHDWPHQW"7KH:RPHQ¶V)RFXV*URXSZDVDVNHGDVLPLODUTXHVWLRQ:hat barriers
prevent Aboriginal women with substance abuse problems from getting treatment?

Many of the findings from the focus group parallel those identified in the District Aboriginal
Needs Assessment Survey.

A. Personal Issues ± Denial:

Focus group participants said a prerequisite to treatment was admitting and accepting you have
DSUREOHP$ELOLW\WRDGPLWWRRQH¶VDGGLFWLRQZDVDOVRLGHQWLILHGDVDSUHGLFWRURIWKHSRWHQWLDO
VXFFHVV RI WUHDWPHQW   ³,I \RX GRQ¶W EHOLHYH \RX KDYH D SUREOHP \RX DUH ZDVWLQJ HYHU\RQH¶V
WLPH´3DUWLFLSDQWVVDLGSHRSOHKDYHWRJRWRWUHDWPHQWIRUtheir selves and they must be willing
to change their addictive behaviours. They have to want recovery. They should not go to
treatment because someone else wants them to or because it is court mandated.

³<RXGRQ¶WZDQWWRDGPLW\RXKDYHDSUREOHP´

³'HQLDO'RQ¶WZDQWWRJR7KH\GRQ¶WFDUH´

³,GLGQ¶WWKLQN,QHHGHGKHOS,WKRXJKWP\OLIHZDVMXVWILQH,GLGQ¶WVHH,KDGD
problem. I was okay. I GLGQ¶WEHOLHYH,ZDVKDUPLQJDQ\RQH$OOP\IULHQGVZHUH
GULQNLQJ,ZDVQRGLIIHUHQWIURPDQ\RIWKHP´

³,GLGQ¶WNQRZ,VKRXOGJHWKHOS,GLGQ¶WVHHWKHSUREOHP´

³,GLGQ¶WWKLQN,KDGDSUREOHP,KDGWKHDWWLWXGHWKDWZKDW,GLGZLWKP\OLIHZDV
P\EXVLQHVV,GLGQ¶WXVHRQWKHMRE,VXSSRUWHGP\IDPLO\:KDW,GLGZKHQ,
ZHQWKRPHDWQLJKWDQGRQWKHZHHNHQGVZDVQRRQH¶VEXVLQHVVEXWP\RZQ,
was very much in denial I had a problem. Treatment was for people who could not
manage their drinkLQJ7KDWZDVQ¶WPH´

³(YHU\RQHWROGPH,VKRXOGTXLW0\PRWKHUWROGPHP\GULQNLQJDQGGUXJJLQJ
ZDVJHWWLQJRXWRIKDQG,WROGHYHU\RQHWRPLQGWKHLURZQEXVLQHVV,GLGQ¶WKDYH
DSUREOHP<RXFDQ¶WPDNHDQ\RQHTXLWHVSHFLDOO\LIWKH\GRQ¶WEHOLHYe they have a
SUREOHP´

B. Personal Issues ± Unwilling to Quit Alcohol and/or Drugs:

Focus group members identified several IDFWRUV OLQNHG ZLWK SHRSOH¶V XQZLOOLQJQHVV WR TXLW
alcohol and/or drugs.

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Many individuals are unwilling to change the addictive lifestyle they have become involved in.
The addictive power of alcohol and drugs is such that individuals could not easily give up their
cravings for these substances. Many of the Methadone clients admitted they liked the feelings
associated with getting high. They also associated their drug use with having fun. Several said
at one time they could not imagine their life without drugs.

Several individuals confessed to selling drugs. They said initially they were unwilling to quit
using drugs because it ZDVKRZWKH\PDGHWKHLUPRQH\7KH\OLNHGEHLQJDEOHWRPDNH³HDV\
PRQH\´ 7KH\ VDLG WKH\ GLGQ¶W OLNH WKH LGHD RI KDYLQJ WR ZRUN KDUG IRU WKHLU PRQH\   2QH
individual mentioned it was not uncommon for some drug dealers to walk around the reserve
with thousands of dollars in their pocket on welfare day.

³<RXGRQ¶WZDQWWRFKDQJH\RXUOLIHVW\OH´

³<RXOLNHGUXJV<RXDUHDIUDLGRIKDYLQJWRFKDQJH´

³7KHSK\VLFDODQGSV\FKRORJLFDOFUDYLQJVDUHWRRVWURQJ´

³<RXDUHWRRDGGLFWHG<RXFUDYHWKHGUXJ´

³7RROD]\,WLVHDVLHUWRVLWDURXQGDQGJHWKLJK7UHDWPHQWZRXOGEHWRRPXFK
OLNHZRUN´

³7RRKLJKWRFDUHDERXWJRLQJWRWUHDWPHQW´

³,OLNHGWKHIHHOLQJV,JRWZKHQ,ZDVKLJK,WPDGHPHIHHOJRRG´

³<RXIHDUORVLQJWKHDGGLFWLRQ<RXGRQ¶WNQRZif you can live without it. You are


FRPIRUWDEOHLQ\RXURZQFUDS´

³:KDWZRXOG,GRIRUIXQ"´

³<RXDUHQRWLQWHUHVWHGLQTXLWWLQJEHFDXVH\RXOLNHEHLQJKLJKDQGEHFDXVH\RX
HDUQ\RXUPRQH\IURPVHOOLQJGUXJV,WLVDQHDV\ZD\RIPDNLQJPRQH\´

³<RXKDYHWREHPRWLYDWHGWRJRWRWUHDWPHQW<RXODFNWKHZLOOSRZHU´

C. Personal Issues ± Not Thinking Treatment Will Help:

Several focus group participants said they often questioned whether treatment would work for
them. More often than naught, they believed the addiction was too strong for them to
overcome. Several individuals said they came to believe they were somehow unworthy of
treatment. These feelings gave rise to a sense of hopelessness. Thoughts of suicide arose.
Most of these feelings were attached to their low self-esteem.

³7KH DGGLFWLRQ LV WRR VWURQJ  <RX IHHO \RX DUH WRR IDU JRQH  <RX¶UH WRR GUDZQ
RXW´

³<RXKDYHJLYHQLQDQGJLYHQXS´

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³<RXGRQ¶WWKLQNDQ\WKLQJZLOOFKDQJHVRZKDWLVWKHXVH´

³7UHDWPHQWLVQRWKHOSIXO,KDYHEHHn WRWUHDWPHQWDQGLWGLGQ¶WZRUN´

³<RXWKLQNLWLVWRRODWH<RXIHHOLQFRPSHWHQW´

³,WZRXOGEHWRRPXFKRIDFKDOOHQJH,GRQ¶WWKLQN,¶GEHXSWRLW´

³7KH\GRQ¶WEHOLHYHLQWKHPVHOYHV´

³<RX IHHO LQFRPSHWHQW  <RX FDQ¶W GR DQ\WKLQJ ULJKW  <RX GRQ¶W think you will
VXFFHHGLQWUHDWPHQW´

³<RXIHHO\RXZLOOIDLOMXVWOLNH\RXIDLOHGLQHYHU\WKLQJHOVH´

³<RXWKLQNWKHZURQJZD\<RXEHJLQWRWKLQN\RXDUHQRWZRUWKLW´

D. Personal Issues: Thinking you can handle the problem or you can
control your using:
Participants said substance abusers suffer from the mistaken belief they can control their
addiction and they can quit whenever they choose to do so. Several used Alcoholics
Anonymous terminology saying many individuals are unwilling WR DGPLW WKH\ DUH ³SRZHUOHVV
RYHU´DOFRKRORUGUXJV

³,GLGQ¶WWKLQN,KDGDQDGGLFWLRQSUREOHP,FRXOGKDQGOHP\GULQNLQJ7KHUHZHUH
SOHQW\RIWLPHVZKHQ,GLGQ¶WGULQN,FRXOGJRZHHNVDWDWLPHZLWKRXWGULQNLQJ´

³,RQO\GUDQNRQZHHNHQGV,QHYHr drank during the week because I had to go to


work.´

³<RXIHHO\RXFDQTXLWRQ\RXURZQ´

³,QHYHUWKRXJKWP\OLIHZDVRXWRIFRQWURO,VWLOOGRQ¶WWKLQNWKDW,MXVWJRWWLUHG
of going out on the weekends. I had a family and I was getting too old for the
FUD]LQHVV EXW , DOZD\V WKRXJKW , FRXOG KDQGOH P\ GULQNLQJ  , GLGQ¶W VHH P\
GULQNLQJ DV D SUREOHP HYHQ WKRXJK , ZDV GULQNLQJ PRVW ZHHNHQGV  , VWLOO GRQ¶W
WKLQN,KDGDSUREOHP´

E. Personal Issues ± Fear:

Focus group members identified fear a major barrier to Aboriginal people seeking treatment. It
GLG QRW PDWWHU ZKHWKHU WKH IHDU ZDV EDVHG RQ WKH XQNQRZQ SHRSOH¶V PLVFRQFHSWLRQV RI
treatment or real facts.

In every Youth Focus Group, individuals expressed anxiety over the types of people they might
encounter in treatment. They characterized addicts as scary and menacing. They could not
conceptualize individuals in treatment are very much like themselves.

Focus group participants who had never experienced treatment feared being forced to go
through withdrawal.

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People also feared having to address the issues underlying their addiction. People said they
drank to forget about their past and their issues. They felt treatment would force them to
GLVFXVV³WKHLUVHFUHWV´DQGFRQIURQWWKHLUSDVW

³<RXUSHUFHSWLRQDERXWZKDWWUHDWPHQWLVOLNH´

³<RXDUHFRQFHUQHGDERXWWKHRWKHUDGGLFWV´

³,ZDVDIUDLGRIWKHRWKHUSHRSOH,ZRXOGPHHWLQWUHDWPHQW´

³,ZRXOGEHWRRVFDUHGWRJR,ZRXOGEHVFDUHGRIWKHSHRSOHLQWUHDWPHQWVFDUHG
of the staff and sFDUHGRIKDYLQJWRJRWKURXJKZLWKGUDZDO´

³<RXDUHVFDUHGIRU\RXUVDIHW\<RXDUHVFDUHGRIWKHSHRSOHWKDWDUHWKHUHDQG
WKHVWDII´

³7KHXQNQRZQ.....yRXGRQ¶WNQRZZKDWLVJRLQJWRKDSSHQ<RXKDYHQRFRQWURO´

³$IUDLGRIWKHGRFWRUV´

³:H GRQ¶W want to deal with our issues if are using to cover-up abuse. We are
DIUDLGWRFRPHFOHDQDQGGHDOZLWKRXUXQGHUO\LQJLVVXHV´

³,KDGVHFUHWV.lots of secrets. Secrets about what was occurring in my family as


I grew up. Secrets about the not so nice tKLQJV , GLG LQ P\ OLIH  , GLGQ¶W ZDQW
SHRSOHWRNQRZDERXWWKHP7KHVHVHFUHWVZHUHZK\,XVHG,GLGQ¶WZDQW to have
WRIDFHWKHPLQWUHDWPHQW´

³, GLGQ¶W ZDQW RWKHUV WR NQRZ ZKDW KDG KDSSHQHG WR PH  , GLGQ¶W WUXVW DQ\RQH
because of what had happened´

³, IHDUHG LI , DGPLWWHG , KDG D GUXJ SUREOHP DQG , ZDV OLYLQJ a drug lifestyle, the
SROLFHZRXOGJHWLQYROYHG´

F. Personal Issues ± Stigma:


There is a strong social stigma about people who have an addiction problem. Addicts are often
concerned about what others will think of them. They fear being judged.

Youth said families have a hard time admitting their kids have a substance abuse problem
because of their concern about what others might say. Addicts not only feel ashamed of their
DGGLFWLRQEXWWKH\SURMHFWWKHVHIHHOLQJVRIVKDPHRQWRWKHLUIDPLOLHV7KH\GRQ¶WZDQWRWKHUVWR
WKLQNEDGO\RIWKHLUIDPLOLHV7KH\GRQ¶WZDQWWKHLUFKLOGUHQWRVXIIHUWKHstigma of having parents
who use drugs or alcohol.

Youth were concerned about what their friends would think if they admitted having a problem
that required WUHDWPHQW7KH\IHOWWKH\ZRXOGEHODEHOOHGDVD³ORVHU´DQGSRVVLEO\EHPDGHIXQ

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of. Females, on the other hand, said women who have a substance abuse problem are looked
down by society and by some members of the medical community.

Substance users were concerned about how people label them and how they are prejudice
towards them because of their race. The\VSRNHRIWKHLUFRQFHUQDERXWEHLQJODEHOOHGDV³MXVW
DQRWKHUGUXQNHQ,QGLDQ´

³<RXUIDPLO\ZRXOGUDWKHUKLGHWKDW\RXKDYHDSUREOHP7KH\ZRXOGUDWKHUVZHHS
WKLQJVXQGHUWKHUXJWKDQDGPLWWKHUHLVDSUREOHP´

³<RX¶UHDVKDPHGEHFDXVH\RXKDYHDSUREOHm. You feel shame for youUIDPLO\´

³3HRSOHZLOOPDNHIXQRI\RX´

³<RXDUHDIUDLGRIZKDWRWKHUVZLOOWKLQN´

³<RXDUHDIUDLGRIEHLQJODEHOOHG´

³2QFHDGUXJJLHDOZD\VDGUXJJLH´

³6RFLDOVWLJPD,WLVEDGHQRXJKZKHQPHQDUHDOFRKROLFVEXWSHRSOH think even


PRUHSRRUO\RIZRPHQZKRKDYHDGULQNLQJSUREOHP´

³<RXDUHWRRHPEDUUDVVHGWRVHHNKHOSIRU\RXUDGGLFWLRQ<RXDUHHPEDUUDVVHG
\RXOHW\RXUOLIHJHWWRWKLVVWDWH´

³7KHUHLVDVWLJPDDWWDFKHGWRWKRVHZKRXVHSLOOV´

³<RXDUHVHHQDVZHDNZLOOHGDORVHU´

³7KHUH LV SUHMXGLFH WRZDUGV WKRVH ZLWK DQ DGGLFWLRQ  3HRSOH PDNH DOO NLQGV RI
DVVXPSWLRQVDQGMXGJHPHQWVDERXW\RX´

³7KHUH LV QR VXSSRUW IURP WKH PHGLFDO FRPPXQLW\ 'RFWRUV GRQ¶W XQGHUVWDQG
addictions and have negative perceptions of womHQZKRXVH´

³7KHUHDUHPDQ\QRQ-Natives who see you as just another drunken Indian. They


GRQ¶WWKLQNRI\RXDVKXPDQ´

G. Family Issue ± Lack of Family Support:


Participants in the Treatment Focus Group and the Methadone Focus Group said some families
did not or do not support their treatment goals. They spoke of family denial and family
resistance to individuals leaving home to get treatment.

Youth Focus Group members said lack of parental support would deter them from seeking
treatment. One youth in particular told of his mother coming to get him out of treatment
because she did not think he had a problem and because she was embarrassed about him
being there.

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The lack of spousal and partner support also influences whether an individual chooses to seek
treatment. Individuals said their spouse/partner initially opposed them seeking treatment
because of their own desire to continue drinking or using.

³0\IDPLO\GLGQRWZDQWPHWRJRDQG,UHDOO\GLGQRWZDQWWROHDYHP\IDPLO\´

³1RVXSSRUWIURPIDPLO\IULHQGVDQGWKHSHRSOHLQWKHLULPPHGLDWHVXUURXQGLQJV´

³0\ IDPLO\ ZDV LQ GHQLDO DERXW P\ SUREOHP  7KH\ ZDQWHG WR PLQLPL]H LW  7KH\
NHSWVD\LQJP\GULQNLQJZDVQRWDOOWKDWEDG´

³<RXU IDPLO\ FULWLFL]HV \RX <RX DUH ORRNHG GRZQ XSRQ IRU JRLQJ WR WUHDWPent.
<RXJHWQHJDWLYHUDWKHUWKDQSRVLWLYHVXSSRUW´

³<RXDUHVFDUHGRIWHOOLQJ\RXUSDUHQWV\RXDUHXVLQJDQG\RXQHHGKHOS´

³<RX DUH FRQFHUQHG \RXU IDPLO\ZLOO QRW DSSURYH  <RX ZRQGHU ZKDW ZLOO KDSSHQ
ZKHQ\RXJHWKRPH´

³0\PRWKHUFDPHWRWUHDWPHQWDQGWRRNPHRXWRIWKHUH´

³<RXUVSRXVHGRHVQRWZDQW\RXWRJR´

³$FRQWUROOLQJVSRXVH´

³0\ ZLIH GLG QRW ZDQW PH WR JR WR WUHDWPHQW  6KH ZDV VWLOO XVLQJ  6KH ZDVQ¶W
UHDG\WRTXLWDQGVRVKHGLGQ¶WZDQWPHWRTXLWHLWKHU´

H. Family Issue ± Family Responsibilities:


Many individuals said family responsibilities are one of the greatest deterrents to seeking
treatment. They felt obligated to ensure their family was being taken care while they were in
treatment. Women in particular were concerned about their family responsibilities.

³,KDGWRWKLQNDERXWKRZP\IDPLO\ZDVJRLQJWRVXUYLYHZKHQ,ZDVJRQH:KHUH
ZDVWKHPRQH\JRLQJWRFRPHIURP":KRZDVJRLQJWRSD\IRUWKHJURFHULHV"´

³$V D ZRPDQ \RX KDYH IDPLO\ UHVSRQVLELOLWLHV  <RX FDQ¶W MXVW XS Dnd abandon
your kids while you go off to treatment. You have to take care of your spouse and
\RXUNLGV´

I. Family Issues ± Fear of Losing Your Children:

Women Focus Group attendees said they feared losing their children to the child welfare system
if they admitted to having a substance abuse problem. They said while they understood child
welfare agencies have an obligation to protect children, they also believe agencies should have
a goal of keeping families together. They said the child welfare system should be more
supportive of parents who want treatment.

³,ZDVDIUDLGRIORVLQJP\NLGV,I\RXSXW\RXUFKLOGUHQLQWRWHPSRUDU\FDUHZKLOH
\RX VHHN WUHDWPHQW \RX FDQ¶W JHW WKHP EDFN ZKHQ \RX FRPSOete treatment.

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Workers require you to be substance free for six months or more before you can
JHW\RXUNLGVEDFN´

³,ZDVDIUDLGRI)$&6<RXULVNJHWWLQJ\RXUFKLOGUHQWDNHQDZD\LI\RXDGPLW\RX
KDYHDSUREOHP´

J. Peer Issue ± Loss of Friendships:


Peer pressure and group attachment was identified by many of the Youth Focus Group
participants as a reason why they might not seek treatment. They were very concerned their
friends will think badly of them and they will be made fun of or rejected by their friends.

³7KHUHLVPRUHSHHUSUHVVXUHWRVWD\KRPHDQGQRWJRWRWUHDWPHQW´

³)ULHQGVKLSDQGOR\DOWLHV´

³)ULHQGVWHOO\RXQRWWRJR7KH\GRQ¶WHQFRXUDJH\RXWRJR´

³1RVXSSRUWIURPSHHUJURXS´

³<RX DUH DIUDLG RI FULWLFLVP IURP \RXU IULHQGV  3HRSOH will talk about you. They
FDOO\RXQDPHVOLNH³ORVHU´LI\RXZDQWWRTXLW´

³3HRSOHSXW\RXGRZQ´

³7KH\FDOO\RXDTXLWWHUDQGWKH\WHOO\RXWKDW\RXWKLQN\RXDUHEHWWHUWKDQWKHP
7KH\WHOO\RXWKDW\RXWKLQNWKH\DUHORVHUV´

³)ULHQGVZLOOPDNHIXQRI\RX´

³/RVVRIIULHQGVKLS,WZRXOGEHWRRORQHO\LI\RXGLGQRWKDYHIULHQGV´

³<RXPD\EHUHMHFWHGE\\RXUSHHUVEHFDXVH\RXDUHQRWFRRODQ\PRUH´

³<RX QHHG WR ILQG QHZ IULHQGV DIWHU FRPLQJ KRPH IURP WUHDWPHQW  ,W LV KDUG WR
make new friends especially in a town where there is nothing to do. You are afraid
RI JHWWLQJ ORQHO\ EHFDXVH \RX FDQ¶W WDON WR \RXU ROG IULHQGV DQ\PRUH LI WKRVH
IULHQGVDUHVWLOOXVLQJ´

³<RXIHDUORVLQJ\RXUIULHQGVEHFDXVH\RXDUHDEDQGRQLQJWKDWROGOLIHVW\OH7KH\
feel you DUHDEDQGRQLQJWKHP´

K. Systems Issue ± Lack of Awareness of Treatment Options:


Focus group members said they lacked information about what types of treatment are available.
According to Focus group members, treatment centres/programs do not do enough outreach
into the community. They do not inform potential clients about the types of treatment they offer
and how to access them. First Nation members are reliant on NNADAP workers or other
referral programs to direct them to the appropriate treatment service.

³7KH\GRQ¶WNQRZZKHUHWRJRIRUKHOS´

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$
³<RXGRQ¶WNQRZKRZWRJHWKHOS´

³<RXGRQ¶WNQRZZKDWNLQGRIWUHDWPHQW\RXQHHGRUZKDWLVDYDLODEOH´

³<RX DUH UHOLDQW RQ RWKHU SHRSOH WHOOLQJ \RX ZKDW NLQG RI WUHDWPHQW \RX QHHG  ,
was told I had to go to UHVLGHQWLDOWUHDWPHQW,ZDVQ¶WWROG,KDGWKHRSWLRQRIJRLQJ
WRRXWSDWLHQWFRXQVHOOLQJ´

L. Systems Issue ± Cost of Treatment:


Some fRFXV JURXS PHPEHUV VDLG $ERULJLQDO SHRSOH¶V ODFN RI PRQH\ UHVWULFWV WKHLU DELOLW\ WR
access treatment. Métis focus group members were critical of federal government policies that
enable First Nation members to get their transportation costs to treatment covered while Métis
are denied the same benefit.

³7KHUH LV QR IXQGLQJIRU 0pWLVWR DWWHQG WUHDWPHQW  )LUVW 1DWLRQV have their way
SDLGDQGWKHLUWUHDWPHQWFRVWLVFRYHUHG´

³+HDOWK&DQDGDDQG)LUVW1DWLRQVSD\IRU,QGLDQVWRWUDYHOWRWUHDWPHQWEXWWKHUHLV
no funding for those who live off-UHVHUYHDQGQRIXQGLQJIRU0pWLV´

³:KHUH\RXOLYHRQ-reserve or in town, determines whether you receive financial


support. If you live off-UHVHUYH\RXGRQ¶WJHWWKHFRVWRIWUHDWPHQWSDLGIRU2QO\
those living on-UHVHUYHFDQJHWWKHLUWUHDWPHQWSDLGIRU´

³*RYHUQPHQW SROLFLHV UHVWULFW DFFHVV WR WUHDWPHQW  1,+% SROLFLHV UHVWULFW ZKHUH
\RXFDQJRIRUWUHDWPHQWDQGZKHWKHUWKH\ZLOOSD\IRU\RXWRJHWWKHUH´

³7KHUH LV QR IXQGLQJ IRU 0pWLV ZKR QHHG WUHDWPHQW RU IRU ,QGLDQV ZKR OLYH RII-
UHVHUYH´

³7UHDWPHQWLVWRRH[SHQVLYH´

³1RFRYHUDJHIRUEHGVIRU0pWLVH[FHSWWZRLQ7KXQGHU%D\´

³,W is too expensive for most Métis unless you have some form of health
LQVXUDQFH´

³*RYHUQPHQWDQGEDQGWUDQVSRUWDWLRQ SROLFLHV´

³7UDQVSRUWDWLRQLVKDUGWRILQG. It costs money. You get $92.70 from the Band. It


is not sufficient if \RXUGULYHUZDQWVDKXQGUHG´

³1RWUDQVSRUWDWLRQQRDFFHVV´

³7KHUH LV D GRXEOH VWDQGDUG  +HDOWK &DQDGD SD\V IRU )LUVW 1DWLRQV EXW QRW IRU
0pWLV´

M. Systems Issue ± Funding Support and Quality of Care:


In one focus group, a participant said his lack of money restricted what treatment centre he
could attend. He would have preferred to go to Hazelden but the Non-Insured Heath Benefit

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Program policies required him to attend the nearest NNADAP treatment facility. He said there is
no consideration given to whether or not the NNADAP treatment centre provides quality care or
whether the treatment provided was matched to his treatment needs. He said unless Health
Canada can guarantee NNADAP treatment centres are accredited and its staff credentialed, the
Non-Insured Health Benefit Program should provide funding to enable their clients to obtain
quality treatment elsewhere.

³Some NNADAP treatment centres are not accredited like many other treatment
centres. I think Health Canada may be forcing First Nations people into receiving
second rate treatment by requiring us to attend the nearest NNADAAP treatment
program without any consideration JLYHQWRWKHTXDOLW\RIFDUHWKH\SURYLGH´

N. Systems Issue ± Waiting Lists:

Individuals may lose motivation if they have to wait for a month or two before they are admitted
to residential treatment. One participant said he used the waiting list as an excuse to go out
and drink. He said he thought he may as well ³WDNHone more kick at the can.´

³7KHUHDUHQRWUHDWPHQWEHGVDYDLODEOH´

³:DLWLQJOLVWVDUHWRRORQJ´

³<RX KDYH QR SODFH WR JR  7UHDWPHQW LV QRW DYDLODEOH ZKHQ \RX KDYH WKH GHVLUH
DQGWKHQHHGWRJREHFDXVHRIZDLWLQJOLVWVDQGFRVWV´

O. Systems Issue ± Distance to Treatment:


The location of treatment services FDQ LQIOXHQFH DQ LQGLYLGXDO¶V ZLOOLQJQHVV WR VHHN WUHDWPHQW
Many Aboriginal people, especially those without government transportation support, lack the
money to pay for their travel costs. Distance to treatment and lack of living expenses hinders
the ability of family and friends to visit those in treatment. Women participants were particularly
concerned about the lack of visits from their children. Several clients said distance and cost
prevent family members from participating in their treatment. Individuals said they would be
more inclined to seek substance abuse treatment if it was provided closer to home.

³'LVWDQFH´

³7KHUHare no local treatment programs´

³7KHUH DUH QR FRQYHQLHQWO\ ORFDWHG WUHDWPHQW SURJUDPV  7UHDWPHQW FHQWUHV DUH
too far awD\IURPIDPLO\DQGIULHQGV´

³I was lonely in treatment because my family was so far away. I often thought
DERXWJLYLQJXSDQGTXLWWLQJ´

³)DPLOLHV FDQQRW SDUWLFLSDWH LQ WKH FOLHQW¶V WUHDWPHQW EHFDXVH LW LV WRR FRVWO\ IRU
them to get to the city and pay IRUKRWHODQGPHDOV´

³,WLVWRRIDUDZD\IURPP\IDPLO\:HQHHGDORFDOWUHDWPHQWFHQWUH´

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³,IZH KDGDWUHDWPHQW IDFLOLW\ORFDOO\LWZRXOGKDYH ORWV RI FOLHQWV 3HRSOH GRQ¶W
want to leave their families to go away for treatment. We need a facility that will
WUHDWWKHGUXJSUREOHPDPRQJVWWKH\RXWK´

Methadone Treatment:

³7LPHORVWIURPMREWRJRWRPHWKDGRQHWUHDWPHQWLQ.HQRUDRU'U\GHQ´

³,W¶VKDUGWRWUDYHOWR.HQRUDZKHQ,¶PLQVFKRRO,WGLVUXSWVP\HGXFDWLRQ´

³8ULQH WHVWLQJ PXVW EH GRQH RQFH a month. In Dryden, you have to go twice a
week ± 7XHVGD\VDQG7KXUVGD\VIRUSHRSOHIURP)RUW)UDQFHV7KDW¶VWZRKRXUV
WKHUHDQGWZRKRXUVEDFNWZLFHDZHHN+RZFDQ\RXOLYHDQRUPDOOLIH"´

³7UDYHOWDNHVVRPXFKWLPHDZD\IURPP\MRE,WLVKDUGWRPDLQWDLQDMRE´

³:H QHHG D ORFDO PHWKDGRQH FOLQLF ,W LV VR VWUHVVIXO WU\LQJ WR DUUDQJH
WUDQVSRUWDWLRQ,DPDOZD\VFRQFHUQHGDERXWWUDYHOLQJWKRVHURDGVLQZLQWHU´

P. Systems Issue ± Treatment Admission Policies:

People who attended the Treatment Client Focus Group and the Methadone Focus Group said
treatment centres restrict access to treatment. This may be because the treatment centre lacks
the expertise to treat some types of addiction i.e.) opiates. There are treatment centres that will
not admit people who are on Methadone because of risks associated with their care. Treatment
centres do not want to assume the liability of having Methadone on the premise.

There is a wide held view amongst focus group participants and some NNADAP workers that
people have to be substance free to be admitted to some withdrawal management programs.
7RTXRWHRQHSDUWLFLSDQW³<Ru have to be detoxed to attend DHWR[´

³7UHDWPHQW FHQWUHVZLOOQRWWDNH\RXLI\RXKDYHDSHQGLQJFRXUWGDWH´

³,I\RXDUHRQDQ\NLQGRIPHGLFDWLRQ\RXKDYHWRFRPHRIIRILW´

³6RPH WUHDWPHQW SURJUDPV ZLOO RQO\ DFFHSW UHIHUUDOV IURP WKH PHGLFDO
FRPPXQLW\´

³<RXKDYHWREHFOHDQWRJRWRGHWR[´

³0RVW WUHDWPHQWSURJUDPVZLOOQRWWDNHSHRSOHZKRDUHRQ0HWKDGRQH´

³7KH 11$'$3 WUHDWPHQW SURJUDPV LQ RXU DUHD ZLOO QRW WDNH SHRSOH RQ
0HWKDGRQH´

³+RVSLWDOVZRQ¶WWUHDWKHURLQDGGLFWV´

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Q. Systems Issue ± Perceived Ineffectiveness of Community Workers:

Many adult focus group members cited situations when community workers hindered their ability
to obtain treatment and maintain their sobriety.

Some community workers were seen as biased and prejudicial in their interaction with
substance abusing clients. They are perceived as bringing their personal values and beliefs
about addiction into the provider-client relationship. Some said worker biases and prejudices
have their roots in a pre-existing negative personal or family history with the client. Because of
perceived worker bias, some focus group members preferred to seek assistance from agencies
outside of the community in which they live.

Focus group members were also critical of NNADAP workers who cling to the abstinence model
of addiction treatment. Methadone clients were particularly critical of workers who imposed their
biases on clients who chose harm reduction.

Community workers were also criticized for their lack of team work and service coordination.
Child welfare and addiction workers were identified as working at cross purposes and failing to
network with each other. Other workers identified were welfare administrators and health staff.

Some community workers were also criticized for breaching client confidentiality by discussing
client information with people outside of the office. One focus group member said charges
should be laid against staff members who reveal client health information or any personal
information they become privy to in the course of their work. Band managers and health
coordinators were criticized for not exercising due diligence when it comes to protecting clientV¶
personal information.

In one community, band staff was accused of giving band and tribal employees preferential
treatment. The perception is employees are referred to treatment programs outside of the
country ZKLOH³UHJXODU´EDQGPHPEHUVPXVWDWWHQG11$'$3WUHDWPHQWFHQWUHV.

Focus group participants said Band Councils need to create an environment of support for
recovery within the community. They need to have Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs).
They also need to ensure that band transportation and welfare policies are supportive of band
members who want treatment. Councils and management must ensure band staffs work
together in a coordinated and integrated manner to assist individuals who want treatment, as
well as, individuals returning from treatment.

Several focus group participants said the criticism of community workers is not always justified.
An expectation exists that NNADAP workers and other health and social service providers are
responsible for resolving all community health and social ills. This expectation is unrealistic
because community workers cannot prevent or control the behaviour of others. Addiction
issues in many communities are long-standing and pervasive. People have to take
responsibility for their own behaviours and their own problems, said one focus group member.

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Another said, NNADAP workers are in a catch-22 situation. On one hand, NNADAP workers
are blamed for pushing treatment on people. At the same time, they are criticized for not doing
enough to prevent or stop community substance abuse problems.

³,GRQ¶WKDYHPXFKWUXVWLQFRPPXQLW\ZRUNHUV7KH\KDYHQRVNLOOVDQGDUHQRW
YHU\FRPSHWHQW´

³6RPH FRPPXQLW\ ZRUNHUs do not understand addiction. They want to punish


\RXEHFDXVH\RXDUHDGUXJJLH´

³&RPPXQLW\ ZRUNHUV QHHG EHWWHU WUDLQLQJ LQ DGGLFWLRQV  7KH\ GRQ¶W XQGHUVWDQG
addictions and because of that, WKH\DUHLQHIIHFWLYHLQKHOSLQJDGGLFWHGFOLHQWV´

³6RPH ZRUNHUV GRQ¶W GR WKHLU MREV  2XU 11$'$3 ZRUNHU ZDV XVHOHVV ZKHQ LW
FDPHWRJHWWLQJPHKHOS´

³%DQGZRUNHUVGRQ¶WGRWKHLUMREV7KH\PDNHJHWWLQJWUHDWPHQWDQRUGHDO´

³:RUNHUVEULQJWKHLURZQELDVHVDQGSUHMXGLFHVWRWKHLUMREV,ZRXOGSUHIHUWRJHW
VHUYLFHVRXWVLGHWKHFRPPXQLW\EHFDXVHWKHZRUNHUVDUHPRUHREMHFWLYH´

³, ZRXOG UDWKHU WDON WR VRPHRQH ZKR GRHVQ¶W NQRZ PH  7KH\ KDYH QR
SUHFRQFHLYHGQRWLRQVDERXWPH7KH\GRQ¶WNQRZP\IDPLO\RUP\KLVWRU\´

³&RPPXQLW\ZRUNHUVGRQ¶WWUXVWSHRSOHZKR DUHDGGLFWHG´

³7KHUH LV QR QHWZRUNLQJ DPRQJVW ZRUNLQJ LQ VXSSRUW RI SHUVRQV VHHNLQJ
WUHDWPHQW´

³&RPPXQLW\ZRUNHUVEUHDFKFRQILGHQWLDOLW\7KH\QHHGWREHKHOGDFFRXQWDEOH´

³:RUNHUV PDNH SUHIHUHQWLDO UHIHUUDOV  ,I \RX DUH EDQG VWDII \RX JHW WR JR to
.HQWXFN\  ,I \RX DUH D UHJXODU EDQG PHPEHU \RX FDQ¶W JR WR VSHFLDOL]HG
WUHDWPHQW<RXJRWR'LOLFRRU0LJL]L´

³&KLHI DQG &RXQFLO QHHG WR FUHDWH DQ HQYLURQPHQW RI VXSSRUW IRU WKRVH ZDQWLQJ
recovery. Band staff need to work together to help you achiHYHUHFRYHU\´

³3HRSOH JHW FRQIURQWDWLRQDO ZKHQ \RX WHOO WKHP WKH\ QHHG WR JR WR WUHDWPHQW
7KH\ GRQ¶W ZDQW \RX WR LQWHUIHUH LQ WKHLU OLIHVW\OH  2Q WKH RWKHU KDQG \RX JHW
EODPHGIRUQRWUHVROYLQJWKHFRPPXQLW\¶VDGGLFWLRQSUREOHP´

R. Systems Issue ± Lack of Youth Treatment Options:


The lack of youth services at all levels of the addiction continuum was raised in several focus
groups. Clients must be 18 years of age or older to be admitted to withdrawal
management/detox, as well as, some residential programs. While community counselling
programs exist, staffs often lack the expertise and experience to deal with youth addiction,
especially opiate dependency. Obtaining referrals to specialized youth programs is often

!&R$
$
difficult because of waiting lists. There are programs in the U.S. that deal with youth opiate
addiction but it is hard to obtaining funding for such treatment.

There are no self-help groups specifically targeted to youth. Youth feel uncomfortable in adult
A.A. and N.A. groups.

³7KHUHDUHQRFRXQVHOOLQJSURJUDPVVSHFLILFDOO\IRU\RXWK´

³<RXKDYHWREHWRJHWLQWRVRPHWUHDWPHQWSURJUDPV´

³7KHUHDUHQRVHOI-KHOSJURXSVIRU\RXWK´

S. Systems Issue ± Lack of Gender-Specific Treatment:

Women Focus Group attendees raised gender-specific treatment issues. None of the NNADAP
treatment centres in the area currently provide a treatment cycle specific to women although
they are planning to do so. The women felt their needs would be better served if men were not
part of their treatment group. Women said they were uncomfortable talking about some issues
such as sexual abuse and domestic violence with men present. Several said there are cultural
taboos about discussing certain issues in front of males.

Both genders said the presence of the other gender interfered with their ability to discuss their
core issues. Men said they often feel a need to protect women while women feel the need to
nurture men. Neither of these behaviours is helpful in a treatment milieu. One focus group
participant said when you are in treatment; \RX DUH SDUWLFXODUO\ YXOQHUDEOH WR ³QXW KRXVH
romances.´

When asked if treatment should be co-ed, most youth were adamantly opposed to it. Like some
adults, youth felt the presence of the other gender could lead to inappropriate sexual
encounters.

³7KHUHDUHQRJHQGHU-specific treatment programs. You relate better to your own


JHQGHU LQ WUHDWPHQW  <RX ORVH IRFXV ZKHQ WKH RWKHU JHQGHU LV WKHUH  <RX FDQ¶W
WDONDERXWVRPHLVVXHVZKHQPHQDUHWKHUH´

³,I \RX JURZ XS LQ D WUDGLWLRQDO KRPH \RX DUH WDXJKW QRW WR WDON DERXW FHUWDLQ
things when men are present. It is just not done. In treatment, you are expected
WREUHDNWKDWWDERR´

³1XWKRXVHURPDQFHV´

³<RXZRXOGEHWKLQNLQJDERXWZDQWLQJWRLPSUHVVWKHJLUOVUDWKHUWKDQIRFXVLQJRQ
\RXUWUHDWPHQW´

³<RXNQRZVH[You would be trying to hook-up with someone.´

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T. Systems Issue ± Lack of Child Care:
The topic of child care was raised as a treatment access issue. Women said residential
treatment programs do not allow mothers to bring their children with them. Women are reluctant
to leave their children with their spouse/partner especially if the spouse is still using. They felt
their spouse/partner could not be entrusted with the care of the children. Placing the children
with relatives is not always an option especially if substance abuse is pervasive amongst other
family members.

³7KHUHDUHQRWUHDWPHQWSURJUDPVWKDWRIIHUFKLOGFDUH´

³<RX FDQ¶W JR EHFDXVH WKHUH LV QR RQH WR WDNH FDUH RI WKH NLGV  <RX FDQ OHDYH
WKHPZLWK\RXUSDUWQHUEHFDXVHKHLVXVLQJWRR´

³,ZRXOGQ¶WOHDYHP\NLGVZLWKP\PRWKHU,ZRXOGQ¶WWUXVWKHUWRWDNHFDUHRIWKHP
IRUWKHWKUHHZHHNV,ZDVLQWUHDWPHQW´

³,¶YHKDGVHYHUDOEDE\VLWWHUVZKRIDLOHGWRVKRZXSZKHQ,KDGWRJRWR'U\GHQ,W
is stressful enough trying to balance all the requirements of the program. If you
GRQ¶WGR\RXUXULQHWHVWVZKHQWKH\UHTXLUH\RXWR\RXKDYHWRVWDUWRYHUDJDLQ´

³,ZLVKWKHUHZDV DZD\ ORFDO VHOI-help groups could provide some form of child
care. It would do a lot to support women in preventing relaSVH´

U. Systems Issue ± Lack of Cultural-Based Treatment:

A lack of culturally appropriate treatment acts as a barrier to care. Focus groups said they
expect treatment centres to integrate culturally appropriate supports into their treatment
approaches. Many were critical of mainstream programs who failed to hire qualified Aboriginal
counsellors especially when many Aboriginal people have certificates in addiction counselling or
hold bachelor and masters level social work degrees. People said they prefer to work with
Aboriginal counsellors because they are more sensitive to Aboriginal issues and problems.

Focus groups described culturally competent treatment centres as those which base their
treatment methods on Aboriginal values and norms. Programs which use Elders only for
opening and closing meetings or which relegate cultural programming to one week of the
treatment cycle were not seen as culturally competent. Participants in one of the Elder Focus
Groups were critical of NNADAP treatment centres that follow western treatment modalities
while treating culture as DQ³add-RQ´

³0RVWWUHDWPHQWSURJUDPVKDYHQRFXOWXUDOSURJUDPPLQJVXFKDVVZHDWVQDPLQJ
FHUHPRQLHVHWF´

³7UHDWPHQWSURJUDPVDQGVHUYLFHVQHHGWRUHIOHFWWKH$ERULJLQDOFXOWXUH´

³0RVW SURJUDPV ODFN D VSLULWXDO RU FXOWXUDO FRPSRQHQW  7KH\ KDYH QR 1DWLYH
FRXQVHOORUV´

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³7UHDWPHQW SURJUDPV KDYH PRUH $ERULJLQDO FOLHQWV EXW QRQH RI WKH FRXQVHOORUV
are Aboriginal. 7KH\KDYHQRXQGHUVWDQGLQJRIRXULVVXHVDQGYDOXHV´

³7KH\VD\WKH\DUHVHQVLWLYHWRWKH$ERULJLQDOFOLHQWV¶QHHGVEXWWKH\GRQ¶WVHHWKH
connection between cultural trauma and Aboriginal substance abuse. They think
all alcoholics come from the same plaFHEXWWKH\GRQ¶W´

³Even some of the NNADAP treatment programs are not culturally-based. They
say they are because they are operated by Aboriginal people had have Aboriginal
FRXQVHOORUV EXW WKH\ GRQ¶W UHDOO\ XQGHUVWDQG FXOWXUH  7KH RQO\ WLPH FXOWXUH LV
mentioned is when they do an opening prayer or the week the Elders are brought
in. Culture is not an add-on. It is not really integrated. Their treatment approach
LVSUHGRPLQDQWO\DZHVWHUQRQH´

V. Systems Issue ± Low Retention Rates:


Individuals who previously attended treatment identified other issues hindering treatment. These
issues include client attitude towards treatment. Individuals also spoke about the treatment
FHQWUHV¶WUHDWPHQWPHWKRGRORJLHV

³6WLQNLQJWKLQNLQJ; people who are in treatment who NHHSWDONLQJDERXWXVLQJ´

³1RW VHSDUDWLQJ \RXUVHOI IURP WKH ROG \RX  <RX FRQWLQXH WR GHQ\ \RX KDYH D
SUREOHPRU\RXEHOLHYH\RXUXVLQJZDVOHVVRUGLIIHUHQWIURPRWKHUV´

³6RPH SHRSOH LQ WUHDWPHQW GR QRW ZDQW WR GR JRRG  7KH\ EULQJ RWKHUV GRZQ.
They interfere with your HIIRUWVWRFKDQJH´

³7KH\ VKRXOGQ¶W IRUFHSHRSOHLQWRWUHDWPHQWZKHQWKH\GRQ¶W ZDQWWREH WKHUH RU


WKH\ DUH QRW UHDG\IRUWUHDWPHQW  7KH\ GRQ¶WZDQWWRFKDQJH DQGWKH\ just bring
everyone else down. It is hard enough to work your own SURJUDP<RXVKRXOGQ¶W
KDYHWRSXWXSZLWKWKHLUDWWLWXGHV´

³6RPHWLPHV\RXPHHWDOOWKHZURQJSHRSOHLQWUHDWPHQWVXFKDVGHDOHUVDQGQHZ
FRQQHFWLRQV3HRSOHWHDFK\RXQHZZD\VRIGRLQJGUXJV´

³,ILUVWVPRNHGFUDFNZKHQ,ZDVLQWUHDWPHQW´

³7KHLVRODtion; iWGULYHV\RXFUD]\7KDW¶VZKHQWUHDWPHQWLVOLNHMDLO´

³6RPH WUHDWPHQW FHQWUHV DUH QRW YHU\ FRPIRUWDEOH  7KHUH LV QRWKLQJ WR GR ZLWK
\RXUWLPH7KHURRPVDUHORXV\7KHIRRGLVEDG´

³:KHQ \RX JR WR WKH 0HWKDGRQH &OLQLF WKH FRXQVHOORU LV DOZDys talking about
other clients from my area. I really don¶t think this is appropriate. I wonder if she
WDONVDERXWPHWRRWKHUSHRSOH´

µ+RWVHDWV ,KDWHGLW,KDWHGEHLQJSXWRQWKHVSRW´

³7KHKDUPUHGXFWLRQPRGHOPDNHV\RXWKLQN\RXFDQVWLOOXVH´

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³6RPHWLPHVWUHDWPHQWFHQWUHVDUHQRWZHOOEDODQFHG3HRSOHQHHGFKRLFHV<RX
should have the right to be involved in cultural things or not. You should have the
right to see a priest or a clergyman or not. Everyone has their own spirituality. It
is sXSSRVHGWREH*RGDV\RXXQGHUVWDQG+LP´

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Chapter 9: Treatment Service Elements
Introduction:

In this chapter, issues impacting the substance abuse treatment process are examined using
qualitative information gathered from on-site treatment program visits, focus group discussions,
outcomes of the October 2009 Service Provider Forum and research on best practice. For
clarity, the issues are organized around the themes of pre-treatment, treatment and post-
treatment. Also discussed in this chapter is a preferred model of addiction service delivery
identified by the Aboriginal focus groups.

Pre-Treatment:

A. Pre-Treatment Assessments:

Most treatment centres use standardized assessment tools. The assessment tools help the
client and counsellor identify the client¶V WUHDWPHQW JRDOV DQG develop a treatment plan.
Treatment centres prefer clients arrive with a treatment plan but several said they make
exceptions for First Nation referrals. This is because they believe NNADAP workers¶ and Native
referring organizations lack training in these areas. Inadequate assessments can result in a
misidentification of a FOLHQW¶Vtreatment readiness and/or a referral to the wrong type of treatment
program.

Coerced Treatment:

High client no-shows and high treatment drop-out rates are linked to a lack of client commitment
to the treatment. Some clients are not ready for change. They may be seeking treatment to
appease others including their spouse, family, the courts or the referring worker.

³0DQ\RIWKHSHRSOHUHIHUUHGWRWUHDWPent really do not want to be here. They may


KDYHFRPHWRDSSHDVHRWKHUV6REULHW\LVQRWWKHLUPDLQIRFXV´

³7KHUHLVDQHHGWRORRNDWFOLHQWUHDGLQHVs. Some clients need to go to detox first


or to pre-treatment programming. Better assessments would ensure that clients
JRWRWKHULJKWSODFH7KH\ZRXOGDOVRGHWHUPLQHWKHFOLHQW¶VFRPPLWPHQWDQG
UHDGLQHVVIRUWUHDWPHQW´

³,IDFOLHQWLVQRWUHDG\IRUWUHDWPHQWDGPLWWLQJWKHPMXVWVHWVWKHPXSIRUIDLOXUH
There are high rates of incompletion. Clients who are not ready for residential
treatment have other options. Referring agencies need to look at what can be
GRQHLQFUHPHQWDOO\WRKHOSWKHFOLHQW´

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³:HGRQRWWDNHFOLHQWVLQWRWKHSURJUDPLIWKH\DUHQRWUHDG\6RPH\RXWKGRQRW
want treatment. They just want to cut back so they have a feeling of having some
FRQWURORYHUWKHLUOLYHV´

³:HKDYHIRXQGZLWKRXU11$'$3UHIHUUDOVVRPH FOLHQWVGRQ¶WPDNHLWWRWKH
Clinic. There is a breakdown at the community level in worker and client
communication. Workers need to know where people are in the stages of change.
$UHWKH\FRPPLWWHGWRWUHDWPHQW"´

³:KLOHZHZRXOGSUHIHUFOLHQWVDUULYHZLWKDWUHDWPHQWSODQZHPDNHH[FHSWLRQV
for the First Nations. We know they do not have the appropriate training to
FRQGXFWDVVHVVPHQWV´

³%HWZHHQ$SULODQG0DUFKZHUHFHLYHGUHIHUUDOVIURP2QWDULR
communities. There were 105 referrals possible. Only 58 of those referrals
followed through; 49 were no shows. Of the 58 who were admitted to treatment
from Ontario, 12 left early. Staff believes that only some of their reasons for
OHDYLQJZHUHYDOLG´

³7KHDPRXQWRIWLPHVSHQWRQSURFHVVLQJUHIHUUDOVLVOHQJWK\,WLVWLPH
cRQVXPLQJDQGLISHRSOHGRQRWVKRZXSLWLVIUXVWUDWLQJIRUWKH,QWDNH:RUNHUV´

³7KHEHGFRXOGKDYHJRQHWRVRPHRQHZKRLVFRPPLWWHGWRWUHDWPHQWDQG
UHFRYHU\´

Focus Group members said the presence in treatment of individuals who do not want to be
there or who are not committed to their recovery has a detrimental effect the ability of others to
achieve their treatment goals. (See Section V: Systems Issue ± Low Retention Rates, Chapter
8: Perceived Barriers to Treatment.)

Uninformed Consent:

Some treatment programs believe many Aboriginal clients are unable to make informed
decisions about their treatment because they receive insufficient information about their
treatment options and the treatment process. Most Aboriginal clients are referred to in-patient
treatment and not presented with an option of attending out-patient counselling, if such
counselling is available in their home communities. Clients referred to treatment must be
prepared to deal with their underlying core issues and agree to this prior to admission.

³:H ILQG WKDW UHIHUULQJ RUJDQL]DWLRQV GR QRW H[SODLQ WKH UHDOLWLHV of treatment to
the client. They do not explain the realities of the client getting back their
FKLOGUHQ´

³:H IRXQG LQ WDONLQJ WR RXU FOLHQWV RWKHU WUHDWPHQW RSWLRQV KDYH QRW EHHQ
H[SODLQHGWRWKHP´

³&OLHQWV PXVW XQGHUVWDQG WKH\ ZLOO KDYH WR GHDO ZLWK WKeir issues in treatment.
7KH\KDYHWRDJUHHWRWKLVSULRUWRHQWHULQJWUHDWPHQW´

³6RPHFOLHQWVOHDYHGXULQJWUHDWPHQWEHFDXVHWKH\FDQQRWRUare unwilling to deal


ZLWKWKHLUFRUHLVVXHV´

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,Q³&KDSWHU3HUFHLYHG%DUULHUVWR7UHDWPHQW´ZHUHSRUWHGsome focus groups members said
they had not been informed of their treatment options.

Lack of Culturally Appropriate Assessments:

Several participants in the Treatment Client Focus Group questioned whether standardized
assessment instruments are culturally appropriate.

³, GRQ¶W NQRZ LI WKH DVVHVVPHQW WRROV KDYH EHHQ WHVWHG RQ $ERULJLQDO
SRSXODWLRQV´

³:KHQ , ZDV JHWWLQJ P\ DVVHVVPHQW GRQH QR RQH DVNHG PH DERXW ZKHWKHU ,
followed traditional or western spiritual beliefs. They asked me where I was from
but didn¶WDVNLI,XVHG(OGHUV´

B. Lack of Awareness of the Referral Process :

Referring organizations, including some NNADAP workers, do not understand treatment centres
have structured admission policies and procedures. They mistakenly believe their clients can
be admitted the next day or within the week. This is not the case for several reasons.

x Clients entering treatment must be stabilized before admission. Unstable clients do not have
the mental clarity to make informed decisions about their treatment and they are unable to
actively participate in the treatment process. Unstable clients can pose a danger to
themselves, other clients and the staff.

To ensure stability, clients must be substance free for a specified period of time prior to
admission. Where treatment centres admit clients on Methadone, they must be on
stabilized doses.

³)LIW\SHUFHQW  RIWKHFOLHQWVUHIHUUHGIURP2QWDULRDUHXQVWDEOH<RXFDQQRW


VHQGDQXQVWDEOHSHUVRQGLUHFWO\WRUHVLGHQWLDOFDUH´

³:HWDNHMethadone clients but they must be on Methadone for two months prior
WRDGPLVVLRQ7KH\PXVWEHRQDVWDELOL]HGGRVH´

³&OLHQWVRQ0HWKDGRQHPXVWEHVWDELOL]HGSULRUWRDGPLVVLRQ,IWKH\FRPHLQRQ
30 mg., they have to leave on 30 mg. You cannot play with their dosages when
WKH\DUHLQWUHDWPHQW&KDQJLQJGRVDJHVDIIHFWVWKHFOLHQW¶VDELOLW\WRFRQFHQWUDWH
Some become sleepy, irritable or depressed. They cannot concentrate on
WUHDWPHQW´

³&OLHQWVJRLQJWKURXJKRSLDWHZLWKGUDZDODUHYHU\VLFNIRUDWOeast a month. They


have extreme flu-OLNHV\PSWRPV7UHDWPHQWLVQRWZKHUHWKH\VKRXOGEH´

³,W WDNHV FOLHQWV RQ FRFDLQH  GD\V WR ZLWKGUDZ  &OLHQWV RQ DOFRKRO WDNH  GD\V
People on opiates take at least a month. They should be stabilized first. They
FDQQRWEHJRLQJWKURXJKZLWKGUDZDOVZKLOHLQWUHDWPHQW´

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$
³11$'$3ZRUNHUVQHHGWRXQGHUVWDQGWKHLUFOLHQWVPXVWEHKRXUVFOHDQEHIRUH
DGPLVVLRQ,IWKH\UHODSVHZKHQWKH\KLWWKHFLW\ZHFDQQRWWDNHWKHP´

³:H ZRXOG SUHIHU DOO FOLHQWV DWWHQG D SUH-treatment program. These programs
focus on client stabilization. They are properly assessed and usually get referred
to the appropriate treatment. Clients must have a confirmed treatment date to be
admitted to a pre-WUHDWPHQWSURJUDP´

x Treatment centres operate on cycles of 21 to 28 days. During the treatment cycle, beds are
committed to registered clients. There are no beds available mid-cycle for new admissions;

x Treatment follows a structured format which builds upon the SUHYLRXV GD\V¶ OHVVRQV DQG
activities. It would be inappropriate to introduce a person mid-cycle as they would not
benefit from the treatment lessons done prior to their arrival;

x Most treatment centres employ a group process which requires the development of group
identification and trust. Introducing new people into the group mid-cycle disrupts the
JURXS¶VFRQWLQXLW\DQGWUXVWDQG

x Most treatment centres lack the resources (space, beds and staff) to run more than one
treatment cycle at a time.

All treatment centres have a waiting list. They also have their own intake process. Treatment
Centres distribute admission/referral packages to agencies with the understanding they will read
about the FHQWUH¶V treatment methodology and admission policies. Referring agencies are
expected to share this information with their clients. One treatment centre has made the effort
to visit communities to explain its programs and admission policies but cost, distance and
pressures on staff time restricts their ability to do more comprehensive outreach.

C. Pre-Treatment Medical Assessments:

Several treatment centres said a lack of adequate primary health care in some Aboriginal
communities has resulted in clients being admitted to treatment with serious health problems
such as uncontrolled diabetes, seizure disorders, eating disorders, poor dental health and other
chronic untreated health conditions. While most treatment facilities ask clients to obtain a pre-
treatment medical assessment, some of these assessments are inadequate. Centres have
been forced to suspended or terminate treatment while the affected client seeks medical care.
According to DATIS (Drug and Alcohol Treatment Information System) .4% of Rainy River
District Aboriginal clients in provincially funded treatment services were discharged to a hospital
in 2008.

³&OLHQWVWRWKH0HWKDGRQH&OLQLFRIWHQSUHVHQWZLWKFRPSOH[KHDOWKLVVXHVVXFKDV
SUHJQDQF\+,9$,'6DQGKHSDWLWLV´

³7KH ODFN RI DFFHVV WR primary care is evident when they come into treatment.
Their state of health is often poor. They may be uncontrolled diabetics. They may
have seizure disorders. Some clients have been diagnosed with cancer while in
treatment. Dental care is poor. We have our Family Health Team which includes

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two (2) nurse practitioners come in every two (2) weeks. They also see sexual
KHDOWKLVVXHVDQGPHQWDOKHDOWKLVVXHVDUHHYLGHQW´

³&OLHQWVRIWHQQHHGJODVVHV7KH\PD\KDYHKDGWKHPDWRQHSRLQWEXWWKH\KDYH
bHHQORVW´

³7KLUW\ SHUFHQW   RI ZRPHQ DGPLWWHG WR WUHDWPHQW FRPH ZLWK DQ HDWLQJ
GLVRUGHU0RVWRIWKHVHZRPHQDUH$ERULJLQDO´

³:H ZRXOG SXW WKDW UDWH KLJKHU  )LIW\ WR VL[W\ SHUFHQW  WR   RI ZRPHQ
present with an eating disorder. We are beginQLQJWRVHHDORWPRUHPHQQRZ´

³$VDUHVLGHQWLDOVXSSRUWVHUYLFHZHGRQRWKDYHWKHFDSDFLW\WRGHDOZLWKORQJ-
WHUPPHQWDOKHDOWKGLVRUGHUV´

³$ ORW RI RXU FOLHQWV KDYH PHQWDO KHDOWK LVVXHV ± depression, anxiety, mood
disorders, concurrent disorders and adjustment disorders. Many self-medicate
ZLWKDOFRKRORUGUXJV´

Participants in the Treatment Focus Group also believe it is important all treatment clients
undergo a comprehensive medical assessment.

³0\GRFWRUMXVWORRNHGDWWKHIRUP$VNHGPHDIHZquestions and checked off the


ER[HV+HGLGQ¶WGRDSK\VLFDO,GLGQ¶WKDYHWRJLYHEORRG´

³7KHUHKDVWREHPHGLFDOLQYROYHPHQW7KHLQWDNHDVVHVVPHQWVKRXOGORRNDW
your physical health, check for diseases, look at your diet, see if you have any
mentaOKHDOWKLVVXHVDQGVHHZKDWPHGLFDWLRQV\RX¶UHRQ´

Treatment:

A. Withdrawal Management/Detox:

Service providers identified a need for withdrawal management/detox services in the Rainy
River District. Individuals requiring detox must travel to either Kenora or Thunder Bay. The lack
of Withdrawal Management impacts Treaty 3 Policing.

³:HKDYHWKHGLVFUHWLRQRIOD\LQJDFKDUJHRISXEOLFintoxication or taking them


home. If they are from an outlying First Nation, we may have to put them in jail
overnight. If we do not charge them, we are responsible for driving them home
the next day. If they live in a community like Lac La Croix, for example,
transportation there and back can consume a full shift. This is big commitment of
RXUWLPHDQGUHVRXUFHV´

The Canadian Drug Treatment Strategy has recommended home-based detoxification. Focus
group members were asked whether they thought this could be a viable option for First Nations.
Those who spoke on the issue generally did not support the approach.

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³,I \RX JR WKURXJK RSLDWH ZLWKGUDZDO, you are extremely ill. You need people to
WDNHFDUHRI\RX,WLVXQUHDOLVWLFWRSODFHWKLVEXUGHQRQ\RXUIDPLO\´

³, GRQ¶W NQRZ KRZ LW ZRXOG ZRUN EXW , ZRXOG KDYH FRQFHUQV  <RX FDQ JR LQWR
seizures during withdrawal. Detox centres have access to medical help. Most
First Nations do not have that type of immediate medical access. I would not
recommend this for First NatLRQV´

While some focus group members did not support home detox for rural or isolated First Nations,
several service providers wanted to maintain this option.

³7KHUHDUHJXLGHOLQHVIRUKRPHGHWR[FRPLQJRXWVKRUWO\:HVKRXOGQRWUXOHWKLV
approach out for First Nations until we see what the guidelines recommend. I
WKLQNLWPLJKWZRUNIRUVRPHFRPPXQLWLHV´

There also was concern amongst focus group members and service providers that withdrawal
management is not available for persons under age 18 years.

B. Methadone Maintenance Therapy:

Harm Reduction Model:

Methadone Maintenance Therapy (MMT) is a contentious issue in the Aboriginal community.


Many community members and workers do not understand or support the harm reduction
model.

³,WLVMXVWWUDGLQJRQHDGGLFWLRQIRUDQRWKHUDGGLFWLRQ´

³:KDWDUHWKHORQJ-WHUPHIIHFWVRI0HWKDGRQH"1RRQHNQRZV´

³:HQHHGWRNQRZPRUHDERXWGUXJVDQGWKHLUDIIHFWVRQSHRSOH:HGRQ¶WNQRZ
WKHDIIHFWRIWKHVHGUXJVRQLQIDQWV:HGRQ¶WNQRZWKHORQJ-term consequences
RIWDNLQJ0HWKDGRQH´

³7KHJRDOVKRXOGEHWRJHWSHRSOHoff Methadone´

³7RRPDQ\SHRSOHDUHEHLQJSXWRQ0HWKDGRQH6RPHKDYHEHHQXVLQJRSLDWHV
for only a month or two. They should go through withdrawal rather than be put on
Methadone. It is harder WRJHWRII0HWKDGRQHWKDQRSLDWHV´

³,DPLQIDYRXURIWKHDEVWLQHQFHPRGHO0HWKDGRQHLVQRWWUHDWPHQW,WLVMXVW
JRLQJIURPRQHDGGLFWLRQWRDQRWKHU´

Perceived Lack of Community Support for Clients on Methadone:

Methadone clients say it is hard to be on Methadone when you lack community support and you
are stigmatized.

³,JHWWLUHGRIWU\LQJWRHGXFDWHSHRSOHDERXW0HWKDGRQH,GRQ¶WWKLQNLWLVP\MRE
\HWSHRSOHORRNGRZQRQPHEHFDXVH,¶PRQ0HWKDGRQH´

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³3HRSOH in the community are ignorant about Methadone. They stereotype the
XVHUVDVMXQNLHVDQGSLOOKHDGV7KH\WUHDW\RXGLIIHUHQWO\´

³,KDYHWRHGXFDWHSHRSOHDERXW0HWKDGRQHDOORIWKHWLPH6RPHZRQ¶WHYHQ
listen. They look down on you and assume negatiYHWKRXJKWVDERXW\RX´

³:RUNHUV¶ personal biases come into the picture. Their biases should not
interfere with your ability to access treatment or other support services. They
KDYHWRSXWWKHLUSHUVRQDOYLHZVDVLGH´

³:KHQ\RXJRWRWKHSKDUPDF\DQG\RX are one of their Methadone clients, staff


watches \RXEHFDXVHWKH\WKLQN\RXZLOOVWHDOWKLQJV´

No Local Methadone Program or Urine Test Sites:

Individuals wanting to enrol in Methadone Maintenance Therapy must travel to Kenora or


Thunder Bay for stabilization. Additional follow-up visits to Kenora, Dryden or Thunder Bay are
required on a weekly or monthly basis for case management, urine testing and dosage
adjustment. Clients obtain their Methadone from pharmacies located in Fort Frances and
Atikokan. Carries are available for clients who meet the requirements.

The time commitment required for travel to Kenora, Dryden or Thunder Bay for follow-up, as
well as cost, places stress on the clients.

Some service providers do not support the practice of using teleconferencing for monitoring or
counselling Methadone clients.

³$VDVHUYLFHSURYLGHU,DPQRWFRPIRUWDEOHZLWKWKHOHYHORIULVNDVVRFLDWHGZLWK
GRLQJFDVHPDQDJHPHQWDQGFRXQVHOOLQJE\WHOHFRQIHUHQFH´

³,ZRXOGQRWIHHOFRPIRUWDEOHZLWKWKHDSSURDFK´

³7KH WHOH-health approach in Methadone treatment requires a competent local


case manager. This is QRWDOZD\VDYDLODEOH´

[Note: OATC opened a Methadone Clinic in Fort Frances in November 2009.]

Few Methadone Clients Receive Psychosocial Counselling:

According to research, Methadone clients have a lower risk of relapsing if they combine
Methadone Maintenance Therapy with psychosocial counselling. Methadone Clinics provide
case management but do not normally provide mental health counselling. Even though clients
are encouraged to obtain counselling, few do so. Without counselling or the benefits of
substance abuse treatment, Methadone clients never confront the underlying issues of their
addiction nor do they acquire the skills necessary to more effectively deal with the daily
stressors of life.

³1LQHW\-nine percent of clients prefer to go on Methadone rather than go through


withdrawals. Of the clients who go on Methadone, very few commit to
SV\FKRVRFLDOFRXQVHOOLQJ´

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³:Hsee very few Methadone clients LQRXURXWSDWLHQWFRXQVHOOLQJSURJUDP´

³,I ZH KDG WKH UHVRXUFHV ZH ZRXOG KLUH D VRFLDO ZRUNHU WR GR SV\FKRVRFLDO
counselling. As it is, we barely have time to do case management with the clients
ZKRKDYHWRWUDYHOLQ´

³7KHFDVHPDQDJHU¶VUROHLVQRWto do psychosocial counselling. It is hard to do


this via the telephone. We need mental health counsellors or social workers for
WKLV´

No Methadone Support Groups:

Clients identified the need for local Methadone Support Groups. Mothers on Methadone cited a
need for child care support to attend these groups.

C. Out-Patient Treatment:

A lack of staffing and funding restricts the ability of local out-patient counselling programs to do
groups and evening programming. There are no women-specific out-patient treatment services
or services to meet the needs of seniors. It is unrealistic to expect one addiction counsellor to
provide a full range of out-patient treatment services.

There has been no Aboriginal-specific out-patient treatment program in the Rainy River District
since the demise of Oh-Shki-Be-Ma-Te-Ze-Win Inc. The Counselling Unit (formerly Anishinabe
Community Counselling) of the Fort Frances Tribal Area Health Services has attempted to fill
this gap. It is in the process of redefining tribal level addiction services to better meet First
Nation needs.

D. Residential Treatment:

Need for Local Residential Treatment Program:

There is no residential treatment program in the Rainy River District. Aboriginal clients would
prefer a District-based Aboriginal residential treatment centre that addresses both alcohol and
opiate addiction.

Need for Family Treatment Program:

The Project identified the intergenerational nature of substance abuse amongst the participating
Aboriginal community. Despite this, there is no formalized Aboriginal Family Treatment
Program available within the District. Migisi Treatment Centre has attempted to include a family
component in its treatment approach but it reports distance and the cost of travel and lodging
prevents the participation of many families.

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Need for Aboriginal-specific Youth Treatment Service:

Sister Margaret Smith is the only centre that provides youth focused treatment in north western
Ontario. There is no Aboriginal treatment centre in north western Ontario that will admit clients
under the age of 18 years. Wee-chi-it-te-win Child and Family Services will admit First Nation
youth with an addiction issue provided beds are available but it does not operate a formal
addiction treatment program.

Need for Aboriginal Women-specific Treatment Services:

Sister Margaret Smith Clinic provides women targeted treatment services. The NNADAP
treatment centres in the area (Migisi and Dilico) do not run women-specific treatment cycles at
this time'LOLFRLVLQWKHSURFHVVRIXQGHUWDNLQJDFRQVXOWDQW¶VVWXG\WRLGHQWLI\ZD\VLQZKLFKLW
can enhance its gender-based programming.

Lack of Services for Clients with Concurrent Disorders:

Service providers identified the need for specialized treatment programs for those with
concurrent disorders. There is a visiting psychiatrist in the Rainy River District but providers
believe there is a need for more psychiatric support. Service providers report divisions between
child and adult mental health services are problematic.

NNADAP treatment centres identified the need for more training to assess and address
concurrent treatment disorders. They also need specialized staff to address issues arising from
child sexual abuse.

Lack of Treatment Services for Opiate Addiction:

Few treatment programs accept clients who are on Methadone. Few Methadone clients receive
psychosocial counselling.

NNADAP treatment staff identified a need for resources to respond to changing Aboriginal
addiction patterns. They need to modify their program approaches to deal with opiates. They
also need staff trained in opiate addiction. Their intake and assessment forms need to be
modified. In some instances, their facilities need to be modified.

Post-Treatment:

A. Aftercare Planning:

Aftercare refers to services and supports that treatment clients need to transition back to the
community while maintaining their treatment progress. In the weeks prior to their discharge from
inpatient or outpatient treatment, counsellors encourage clients to develop an aftercare plan
which identifies their recovery and life goals. Aftercare planning also involves a renewed focus
on relapse prevention.

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Treatment service staff identified the following aftercare issues:

Lack of Aftercare Services:

Many rural and First Nation communities lack aftercare services and supports.

³7KHUHDUHQRDIWHUFDUHRUVXSSRUWVHUYLFHVLQUHIHUULQJFRPPXQLWLHV´

³7UHDWPHQWFHQWUHVKDYHGLIILFXOW\ILQGLQJRXWZKDWORFDOVXSSRUWVDUHDYDLODEOHLQ
out-laying DUHDV´

³7KHUHLVDKLJKWXUQRYHURIFRPPXQLW\ZRUNHUV,WLVKDUGIRUWUHDWPHQWFHQWUHV
to maintain communication with community workers around aftercare planning
ZKHQWKHUHLVQRVWDIILQJRUSURJUDPFRQWLQXLW\´

³7KHUHDUHFRPPXQLFDWLRQLVVXHVZLWKVHUYLFHSURYLGHUVZLWKUHVSHFWWRWUDQVLWLRQ
SODQV,IFOLHQWVJRKRPHWKH\GRQRWKDYHWKHDGGHGVXSSRUWV´

³7UHDWPHQW FHQWUHV DUH DQ DUWLILcial environment. Here, clients have support and
security. It is scary for them to leave because there are not the same kinds of
VXSSRUWLQWKHLUKRPHFRPPXQLWLHV´

³7KHUHLVQRVWUXFWXUHGDIWHUFDUHSURJUDPLQWKH5DLQ\5LYHU'LVWULFW´

³&OLHQWV ZKR GRZHll are those that are in counselling and have supports during
DIWHUFDUH&RPPXQLW\VXSSRUWVQHHGWREHWKHUHIRUWKHP´

³:H GR OHWWHUV RI UHIHUUDO WR DIWHUFDUH VHUYLFHV EXW WKH FOLHQW KDV WR WDNH
responsibility for their aftercare plan. More often the resources are just not there
IRUWKHPWROLQNWR´

³:H PDNH UHIHUUDOV WR VXSSRUWLYH VHUYLFHV   :H WU\ WR OLQN WKHP ZLWK UHFRYHU\
groups or other people in WUHDWPHQWIURPWKHVDPHFRPPXQLW\´

Participants in the Treatment Client Focus Group also raised concerns about a lack of aftercare
services in the Rainy River District.

³7KHUHDUHQRMREVRUKRXVLQJRQFH\RXJHWRXWRIWUHDWPHQW&RPPXQLWLHVWDON
about supporting clients but no one visits them in treatment. There are no
supports when you get home. You DUHRQ\RXURZQ´

³7KHUHLVQRRQHDWWKHFRPPXQLW\WRDGYRFDWHIRU\RX<RXDUHOHIWWU\LQJWRJHW
help on your own from the band programs. There is no coordination between
WKHPDQG\RXHQGXSIUXVWUDWHGDQGDQQR\HG´

³7KHUHVKRXOGEHD³:HOFRPH%DFNWRWKH&RPPXQLW\´FHOHEUDWLRQIRUWKRVH
returning from treatment...a support supper to let them know we are behind
WKHP´

Best practice research is also critical of the way in which aftercare services are delivered to
Aboriginal people. White and Sanders argue addiction recovery management approaches are
based on an acute care model that does not work for people of color. They recommend a shift

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to a sustained recovery management which recognizes addiction as a chronic progressive
disease.1

³7KH DFXWH FDUH PRGHO ³UHVWV RQ WKH DVVXPSWLRQ WKDW $2' DOFRKRO DQG RWKHU
drug) problems are self-contained and that individuals have the internal and
external resources to sustain recovery and assume full social functioning
following detoxification and brief treatment. It assumes a foundation of pre-
morbid skills and social functioning. This rehabilitation model promises the client
that he or she will regain prior levels of functioning and status lost via the
accelerating severity of AOD problems. This model is poorly suited for
individuals who have not achieved such prior levels of functioning and who have
no significant support for recovery within their family and social network. This
model is particularly unsuited for those poor communities of color whose
members present with high AOD problem severity, numerous co-occurring
SUREOHPVDQGORZ³UHFRYHU\FDSLWDO´ LQWHUQDODQGH[WHUQDOUHVRXUFHVWKDWKHOSWR
initiate and maintain recovery (Garfield and Cloud, 1999).2´

White and Sanders SURSRVH WKH ³WUHDWPent of severe and persistent AOD (alcohol and other
drug) problems is best done within a sustained recovery management partnership that provides
on-going recovery support and consultation and anchors the recovery process in indigenous
supports within the cOLHQW¶VQDWXUDOHQYLURQPHQW3´ They support a recovery management model
where the client is seen as being part of a complex web of family, social and cultural
relationships where each level either can contribute to the development of, help resolve, or
sabRWDJH WKH VROXWLRQ RI WKH FOLHQW¶V SUREOHPV  In the recovery management model LW LV ³WKH
whole ecosystem rather than the individual that is the target of RM intervention.....RM
encompasses the skills of family reconstruction, community resources development, and nation-
EXLOGLQJ´4

Because people of color often enter treatment at later states of problem severity and with a
greater number of co-occurring problems, White and Sanders find they are ill-served by service
models whose low intensity and short duration offer little opportunity for success.5 They advise
³FRPPXQLWLHV RI FRORU QHHG VWDEOH UHFRYHU\ VXSSRUW LQVWLWXWLRQV WKDQ FDQ PRYH EH\RQG EULHI
H[SHULPHQWVLQUHFRYHU\LQLWLDWLRQWRZDUGVSURORQJHGUHFRYHU\PDLQWHQDQFH´6

Lack of Referring Agency Involvement:

Referring agencies do not necessarily maintain contact with their treatment referrals. They do
not provide support during the treatment process nor are they involved in provision of post-
treatment aftercare. This may be because they do not have the mandate or because clients
choose not to include them in their aftercare plans.

³7KHUHVKRXOGEHRQ-going involvement from the referring agencies. However, we


find that workers do not stay involved with the client. Some do not have the
PDQGDWH´

³:HILQGWKDWsome clients and community workers have a history between them.


,WWHQGVWREHQHJDWLYH1HLWKHUWUXVWVHDFKRWKHU´

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³,W¶VDORWRIZRUNFRQQHFWLQJZLWKWKHFRPPXQLWLHVDURXQGGLVFKDUJHSODQQLQJ,W
is difficult when you feel workers are less than enthusiastic about helping the
FOLHQWXSRQWKHLUUHOHDVHIURPWUHDWPHQW´

³,GHDOO\ FRPPXQLW\ ZRUNHUV VKRXOG EH LQYROYHG Normally, you would think this
would be beneficial to the client. However, clients have the right to determine who
is involved in their program. Sometimes they do not want the referring agency
LQYROYHG´

³)RUW)UDQFHV3UREDWLRQ6HUYLFHVGRQRWPDLQWDLQFRQWDFWZLWKWKHLUFOLHQWVRQFH
WKH\DUHLQWUHDWPHQW1HLWKHUZHQRURXUFOLHQWVKHDUIURPWKHP´

³7KHOLQNDJHZLWKFRPPXQLW\KHalth and social service programs is dependent on


the client. Sometimes it is not possible as these services are not available in their
home community. We do dialogue with workers through telephone conference.
More often, clients leave treatment without community services knowing what the
FOLHQW¶VDIWHUFDUHSODQLV´

Level 1 Support Services (post-treatment) say they find it difficult to obtain discharge plans from
treatment centres outside of Thunder Bay, particularly NNADAP treatment centres.

³,W LV DQ on-going struggle to get discharge summaries for clients from some
treatment programs outside of Thunder Bay even when they refer their clients to
our post-WUHDWPHQWSURJUDP´

B. Lack of Transitional Housing:

A lack of transitional housing in the smaller communities in north western Ontario hinders client
recovery. Without transitional housing and its ancillary supports, clients return to the same
environment they left increasing the possibility of relapse.

³7Uansitional housing does not exist in most communities, especially the First
1DWLRQV´

³$JHQFLHVLQWKH'LVWULFWQHHGWRUH-think their housing policies. New beds need to


be made available or existing beds reallocated to those transitioning from
WUHDWPHQW´

Focus group members agree there is a need for transitional housing.

³:KHQ\RXUHWXUQIURPWUHDWPHQWWKHUHLVQRKRXVLQJDYDLODEOH6LQJOHZRPHQ
JHWSULRULW\RYHUVLQJOHPHQ´

³:HQHHGKDOIZD\KRXVHVDQGWKUHH-quarter way houses for clients returning from


WUHDWPHQW´

³,WLVHPEDUUDVVLQJWRKDYHWROLYHZLWK\RXUSDUHQWVZKHQ\RXDUHP\DJHEXW\RX
KDYHQRFKRLFHEHFDXVHWKHUHLVQRKRXVLQJ´

³<RXFDQVRPHWLPHVJHWDSODFHEXWLWLVXVXDOO\ZKHUHWKH\SXWWKHVLQJOHPHQ
They like to party and do drugs. It is not a good place for a person trying to
recoYHUIURPVXEVWDQFHDEXVH´

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C. Lack of Service Coordination:
Focus group members were concerned about the lack of community and District service
coordination. Service providers said a need for improved coordination exists at all levels of the
continuum including service development and management.

³:HDUHLQYROYHGLQWKHORFDOVXEVWDQFHDEXVHSUHYHQWLRQWHDPEXWwe are
excluded from the planning and governance of local treatment services. We do
QRWKDYHDVD\´

³7KHIHGHUDODQGSURYLQFLDOJRYHUQPHQWVGRQRWWDONWRHDFKRWKHUDWDVHUYLFH
delivery level regarding addiction services. There are jurisdictional and funding
silos that make iWGLIILFXOWWRSODQFRPPXQLW\VHUYLFHV´

³7KHUHLVDGHILQLWHneed for LPSURYHGFROODERUDWLRQDQGVKDULQJ´

The service providers identified ways in which coordination can be improved including:

x District and local tripartite discussions around addiction issues, needs and solutions;

x Establishment of a formal district mechanism for discussion of addiction related issues that
involve all service providers ± Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal. Jointly explore the feasibility of
using existing mechanisms (Opiate Taskforce, Inter-agency group) or the need to establish
new ones.

x Development of protocols and Memorandums of Understanding between agencies


regarding referrals and case management;

x Localized training opportunities involving all local service providers;

x Use of interpreters if required;

x Cross-cultural training (Aboriginal to Non-Aboriginal and vice-YHUVD UHJDUGLQJRXU³ZRUOG


YLHZ´DQG

x Recognition that all persons within the addiction field are colleagues and we all want what is
best for the client.

Aboriginal Defined Treatment Services:

During the focus group sessions, participants were asked to describe a preferred treatment
model.

!%%$
$
A. Intervention:

Participants said it may be necessary to stage an intervention with individuals who are in a state
of denial regarding their addiction. If an intervention becomes necessary, participants identified
some guidelines for carrying it out:

x Interventions can be initiated by any caring person(s) including family, friends, sponsors
or counsellors;

x It should be conducted or moderated by a person who has professional expertise and


experience;

x Individuals should be told how their behaviour has affected others and what behaviours
they need to change;

x There must be consequences if the person will not seek treatment. Individuals involved
in the intervention must do what they say they are going to do;

x The negatives must be balanced with positives. It must be done in a way that is not
harmful;

x There must be closure. The individual should not be left hanging; and

x An Elder should be involved if the individual has a strong cultural affiliation.

B. Intake and Assessment:

Focus group members identified a preferred approach to Intake and Assessment.

x The Intakes and Assessments should be professionally done by trained, competent staff;

x The Assessments should be comprehensive and holistic and include:

! Basic demographic information such as name, address, age, gender, marital


status, children, etc.
! History of substance use;
! History of substance abuse treatment;
! Family history including whether family uses and family of origin issues such as
involvement with the child welfare system, etc.
! A complete and thorough medical assessment conducted by a physician/nurse
practitioner that includes physical health, mental health, diet, medications, acute
and chronic illnesses.

!%&$
$
! A complete and thorough mental health assessment to identify any concurrent
treatment disorders such as anxiety, depression, mental disorders, etc.
! Legal history ± involvement with the criminal justice system.
! Spiritual and religious beliefs.
! Cultural engagement ± does the person speak an Aboriginal language? Does the
person participate in cultural ceremonies and rites? Does the person participate
in cultural events? Does the individual have an Elder and/or traditional healer
they see for mentoring or treatment? Does he or she use traditional medicines?
How do they describe their cultural association?
! What is tKHVWDWHRIWKHLQGLYLGXDO¶VUHDGLQHVVIRUWUHDWPHQW"
! Are they prepared to deal with their core issues?
! :KDWDUHWKHFOLHQW¶VWUHDWPHQWJRDOV"
! +RZVXSSRUWLYHLVWKHLQGLYLGXDO¶VIDPLO\DQGVRFLDOQHWZRUN"

x The Assessment should include a pre-treatment orientation which includes a discussion


of treatment options, what to expect in treatment and the rules covering each treatment
option. The purpose of the pre-treatment orientation is to ensure the client understands
his or her treatment options and they have an ability to make an informed decision about
their preferred treatment approach.

x &OLHQWV VKRXOG EH DVNHG WR VLJQ D ³&RPPLWPHQW &RQWUDFW´ requiring abstinence during
the waiting period if any and, not to use during treatment. They must agree to cooperate
with the treatment process and follow the rules of the treatment facility.

x Most focus group members said ideally all Aboriginal clients should spend a few weeks
in a Pre-Treatment Program where they can be observed and assessed.

C. Residential Treatment:

Treatment Location and Facility:

Elders and a large number of other focus group members said any proposed treatment centre
should be located on a lake or by water as water promotes healing. Youth prefer a location that
is LVRODWHG RU VHFOXGHG DUHD VR WKHUH LV QR RXWVLGH LQWHUIHUHQFH DQG VR \RX ³KDYH QRZKHUH WR
UXQ´

It should have a home-like rather than institutional atmosphere. Each client should have his or
her own room rather than share with others. Focus group members did not want dormitory style
accommodations.

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Others said the treatment centre should reflect the DUHD¶V Aboriginal cultures. It should
incorporate Aboriginal art and a display of Aboriginal cultural items such as drums, pipes, Métis
sashes and flag.

Focus group members want a facility they can be proud of. They said it should be well-
maintained, clean and sanitary with the grass cut and the snow shovelled. Youth described a
lodge-type facility with meeting rooms and outlying cabins which would house the clientele.

The treatment centre should be Aboriginal owned and operated but should be open to non-
Aboriginal as long as the non-Aboriginals respect the cultural aspects of the treatment program.
The Elders felt non-Aboriginals would benefit from learning about Aboriginal spirituality.
Aboriginal values and belief systems could be used in their own lives.

Youth said it should include a classroom so they can keep-up with their studies. It should also
have tutors.

Some focus group members said the treatment facility should allow smoking.

Treatment Programming:

Focus group members identified the following areas for inclusion in the treatment program:

x (GXFDWLRQDERXWDOFRKRODQGGUXJVDQGWKHLUDIIHFWRQSHRSOH¶VPLQGVand body;

x Second stage recovery7 to deal with core issues including:

! family of origin issues including dysfunctional family relationships; and


! inner child work;

x Addressing interpersonal issues such as establishing boundaries, peer groups, co-


dependency and personal empowerment;

x Development of healthy approaches to stress reduction and management such as


meditation, visualization, massage therapy and development of hobbies;

x 12 Steps, with the first 5 steps being completed in treatment. Clients should also learn
the meaning and significance of the other steps;

x Life skills such as effective communication, taking risks, problem solving, coping with
failure, facing pain, self-reliance, self-motivation, self-esteem, self-responsibility and self-
love;

x Parenting skills;

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x Family program where the spouse and children can be involved as they are directly
DIIHFWHGE\WKHLUSDUWQHURUSDUHQW¶VVXEVWDQFHDEXVH$FFRUGLQJWRIRFXVJURXS
members, the family needs to understand its role in the addiction process, the issue of
co-dependency, the need for family support in the treatment and post-treatment process,
as well as, how to access their own self-help and supports such as Al-Anon. Family days
should occur mid-cycle and near the end of treatment in advance of discharge;

x Discharge readiness including job readiness (employment aptitude and skill assessment,
resume writing, interview skills), financial/money management (how to budget and get
rid of debt);

x Faith-based counselling for clients who want access. Faith-based approach should
include both mainstream religions and Aboriginal traditional beliefs.

x Treatment should not just incorporate Anishinabe and Métis cultures and values but
should be based on them. Aboriginal values should be reflected in the overall
philosophy and treatment approach and should not be an ³add-on´ or be relegated to a
week of cultural activity. Chapter 10 discusses the preferred cultural model identified by
the Elders and focus group participants.

Treatment Approaches:

Focus group members said residential treatment should be structured but flexible. It should
employ a variety of treatment approaches including:

x Sharing circles or group therapy with regular circle checks in the morning and afternoon;

x Individual one-on-one counselling;

x Role-playing and empowerment exercises so you learn the skills need in recovery;

x &RXQVHOOLQJVHVVLRQVZLWKWKHFOLHQW¶VVSRXVHRUSDUWQHU

x Family counselling;

x Guest speakers who have had addiction problems and been through treatment
successfully. These individuals could act as role-models or mentors for those currently
in treatment;

x Art/Music therapy;

x Cultural counselling with Elders both in a group and individually;

x A privilege system where a client earns rewards based on treatment accomplishments;

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x Drug testing both random and voluntary. (Staff should also be tested.); and

x Treatment should be gender-specific not co-ed.

Security:

Individuals with previous treatment experience recommended the treatment centre have
security measures because clients can gain access to drugs through visitors and other clients.
They supported the screening of visitors and the institution of random searches of their rooms
and possessions. They also said treatment clients should be made aware of the security
measures and possible searches when they enter treatment.

Clients should not be allowed to see friends or family for a period of time as family and friends
may provide access to drugs or alcohol and discourage the client from remaining in treatment.
When family and friends are allowed to visit, they should be monitored. There should be no cell
phones allowed.

Leisure Time:

Focus group participants said it was important clients have leisure time in order to get a break
from the intensity of the treatment process. Clients also need to learn how to deal with daily
frustrations in a healthy way. Leisure time activities might include:

x Quiet time where clients can read or watch television, view videos, etc.;

x An on-site library with books, magazines and videos;

x Access to on-site recreational equipment such as pool tables, exercise equipment;

x Organized and structured fun days or outings to movies, bowling, swimming, dances,
etc;

x Culture-related leisure activities including beading, leatherwork, regalia making; and

x Computer access including internet, social networking, and computer games.

Food & Lodging:

Focus group members, particularly the youth, said it is important that the treatment centre has a
home-like atmRVSKHUHDQGFOLHQWVQRWEHWUHDWHG³OLNHZHDUHLQMDLO´7KH\ZDQW

x An on-site chef to provide good, nutritious food;

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x Aboriginal foods such as wild rice, bannock, wild meats, etc.;

x An eating area which is not like a cafeteria;

x Comfortable furniture, especially comfortable beds; and

x Access to a kitchen or area where coffee/tea/juice and snacks are kept. Possibly a
vending machine for drinks and snacks.

Day Care:

An Aboriginal treatment centre should provide on-VLWH GD\ FDUH VHUYLFHV IRU FOLHQWV¶ children.
While the focus groups did not mention it, this would require residential treatment facilities to
provide accommodations for children.

Staffing:

Focus group members identified the characteristics they prefer in treatment staff.

x Counsellors should be recovered addicts;

x Counsellors should advocate for the client;

x Be trained and accredited counsellors;

x Skilled in group work and clinical counselling;

x Come from a variety of backgrounds;

x Be Aboriginal;

x Open, non-judgemental, friendly and approachable; and

x Sufficient staff to allow for a team approach and because clients need different people to
relate to i.e.) one person cannot meet the needs of all the clients and clients may relate
better to another counsellor.

D. Aftercare Program:

Focus group members said they wanted a structured aftercare program with formal linkages
between treatment centres and community programs. Treatment centres should:

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x Use the last two weeks of treatment to focus on preparing the client for sober living and
provide relapse prevention. It should also include a family component as the family has a
PDMRUUROHLQFOLHQW¶VUHFRYHU\DQGVXSSRUW

x Include a coordinated linkage between the treatment centre and community programs.
Counsellors in the treatment centres need to know about the community and what is
available in terms of aftercare supports. Community workers also need to understand what
happens in treatment.

x Require clients to sign a ³Release of Information´ VR WKH FOLHQW¶V $IWHUFDUH 3ODQ FDQ EH
shared with community workers. There should be someone from community services who
will be the link between the treatment centre and the community services. This person does
not necessarily have to be the NNADAP worker or addictions worker. It can be another
person that the client trusts. This individual would contact the identified person upon release
from treatment. The individual would be responsible for ensuring the coordination of local
VHUYLFHVLQVXSSRUWRIWKHFOLHQW¶V$IWHUFDUH3ODQ Community workers at all levels need to
ensure confidentiality.

x Ensure an Aftercare Plan is prepared by the client and the treatment counsellors. It should
EHEDVHGRQDQDVVHVVPHQWRIWKHFOLHQW¶VUHDGLQHVVIRUGLVFKDUJHIt also should define the
FOLHQW¶VJRDOVXSRQOHDYLng treatment. These goals should be realistic and be based on the
strengths of the client;

x Include a linkage to on-going counselling such as mental health counselling;

x Include a linkage to support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics


Anonymous including the identification of sponsors;

x Include a good maintenance plan with defined daily routines; and

x ,QFOXGHDIRUPDOJUDGXDWLRQFHUHPRQ\LQUHFRJQLWLRQRIWKHFOLHQW¶VWUHDWPHQWDFKLHYHPHQWV
The graduation ceremony should be attended by family and friends. Referring NNADAP or
agency addiction counsellors should attend, if possible. There should also be a community
supper or feast in honour of the client.

E. Transitional Housing:

Because some clients may not be ready to transition directly back into the community, there
should be transitional housing with on-site support services available within the Aboriginal
community. Transitional housing could include half-way and three-quarter way houses. The
support services should include one-on-one counselling, group work and relapse prevention.

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Chapter 10: Cultural-Based Treatment


Introduction:

This chapter examines $ERULJLQDOUHVSRQGHQWV¶FRQQHFWLRQZLWKWKHLUFXOWXUH using the results of


the Rainy River District Aboriginal Addictions Needs Assessment Survey.1 Also examined is the
difference between ³FXOWXUDOO\-DSSURSULDWH´ DQG ³FXOWXUDO-based treatment´ DV H[SUHVVHG E\
Elder Focus Groups and research on Aboriginal healing.

Culture in the Study Communities:

A. Participation in Cultural Events/Cultural Ceremonies:

For the purposes of the Needs Assessment Survey, cultural events included such things as
pow-wows, feasts and gatherings while cultural ceremonies referred to sweat lodges, naming
ceremonies, purification ceremonies and shaking tents, etc.

The Rainy River District Aboriginal Addiction Needs Assessment found sixty-four percent (64%)
of respondents participated in traditional Aboriginal cultural events in the 12 months preceding
the survey. Forty percent (40%) said they participated in traditional Aboriginal ceremonies.
While Aboriginal women were less likely than Aboriginal men to report participating in traditional
cultural events (58% and 67%), both men and women were equally as likely to participate in
traditional ceremonies (42% and 37%). According to the Needs Assessment Report,
participation in both cultural and ceremonial events in the past 12 months varied significantly by
age group.

Chart 47 shows participation in cultural events by age group.

/0'#&*123*!'#&4$4.'&4,%*4%*/-5&-#'5*67"%&8*9:*)("*+#,-.
;'4%:*;47"#*<48&#4$&*)=,#4(4%'5*)>>4$&4,%8*?"">8*)88"88@"%&
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Respondents between the ages of 25 to 49 were more likely to report participating in cultural
events (71%) than those aged 15 to 17 (65%), those aged 18 to 24 (61%), and respondent aged
50 or older (50%).

Chart 48 shows participation in cultural ceremonies by age group.

/0'#&*1A3*!'#&4$4.'&4,%*4%*/-5&-#'5*67"%&8*9:*)("*+#,-.
;'4%:*;47"#*<48&#4$&*)=,#4(4%'5*)>>4$&4,%8*?"">8*)88"88@"%&*
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Respondents between the ages of 25 to 49 years were significantly more likely to participate in
Aboriginal ceremonial events (48%) than those ages 15 to 17 (29%), those ages 18 to 24 (27%)
and respondents aged 50 or more (39%).

Chart 49 compares Aboriginal respondent attendance at cultural events versus cultural


ceremonies by age group.

/0'#&*1C3*!'#&4$4.'&4,%*4%*/-5&-#'5*67"%&8*D"#8-8*/-5&-#'5*
/"#"@,%4"8*9:*)("*+#,-.
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Approximately 50% more Aboriginal people participate in cultural events than they do cultural
ceremonies.

The most frequently mentioned reason for not attending Aboriginal cultural events or ceremonial
events in the past year was:

x Not having any cultural events or ceremonies in their communities or not having them held
close to their community;

x A lack of transportation and finances to attend cultural events or ceremonies outside their
community; and

x A lack of information or awareness of events or ceremonies occurring in their community or


area.

An examination of the types of cultural events or ceremonies attended shows, 78% of Aboriginal
respondents attend powwows. Forty-five percent (45%) report participating in seasonal events
and ceremonies such as spring and fall feasts, wild rice harvesting, and other harvesting feasts.
Thirty-seven percent (37%) attend cultural ceremonies and rites such as naming ceremonies,
full moon ceremonies, purification ceremonies, healing ceremonies, and shaking tents. Seven
percent (7%) participate in cultural activities related to addiction and mental health including
healing circles, sobriety powwows and sobriety gatherings. Six percent (6%) participate in
traditional arts and craft activities such as beading or leather classes. Six percent (6%)
participate in political meetings and events such as Treaty 3 meetings, treaty day celebrations
or elections of the Grand Chief. Ten percent (10%) participate in other cultural events such as
storytelling, conference, workshops and teachings.

7KHGDWDRQUHVSRQGHQWV¶DWWHQGDQFHDW$ERULJLQDOFXOWXUDOHYHQWVDQGFHUHPRQLHVindicates a
significant proportion of Aboriginal people in the study communities have a close attachment to
their culture. They actively participate in Aboriginal cultural events and ceremonies.
Attendance might be higher if barriers to participation were removed.

B. Traditional Spiritual Leadership/Mentorship:

Twenty-nine percent (29%) of Needs Assessment Survey2 respondents reported having a


traditional spiritual leader or mentor. Women and men similarly reported having a spiritual
leader or mentor (31% and 25%).

Respondents reported having contact with their spiritual leader an average of 3.4 times in the 30
day period preceding the Needs Assessment Survey. There was no significant difference
between men and women contact with their spiritual leader or mentor (mean = 3.0 and 3.3 in
the past 30 days).

Twenty-three percent (23%) of those with a spiritual leader or mentor did not have contact with
that person in the 30 days preceding the survey. Twenty-five percent (25%) had seen the
person once; 23% had contact twice and 30% had contact three or more times. The number of

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contacts ranged from as low as 0 to as high as 30 contacts. There were no statistically


significant differences between men (25%) and women (31%).

According to the Needs Assessment Survey, there were statistically significant differences in
whether or not respondents have a spiritual leader or mentor by age group. Chart 50 illustrates
this.

/0'#&*EF3*!"#$"%&'("*,G*)=,#4(4%'5*;"8.,%>"%&8*H4&0*
B.4#4&-'5*I"'>"#*,#*J"%&,#*9:*)("*+#,-.
;'4%:*;47"#*<48&#4$&*)=,#4(4%'5*)>>4$&4,%*?"">8**)88"88@"%&*
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)("*+#,-.

Respondents between the ages of 25 to 49 were most likely to report having a spiritual
leader/mentor (35%), compared with those ages 50 or more (28%), and those ages 18 to 24
(22%). Youth between the ages of 15 to 17 were the least likely to report having a spiritual
leader or mentor (19%). While youth ages 15 to 17 were the least likely to have a spiritual
leader/mentor, it was this age group that had the most contact with a spiritual leader/mentor in
the 30 days preceding the survey (mean 4.2 times).

The most reported reasons for not having a traditional spiritual leader/mentor were:

x Not knowing the people in their community who perform this role;
x Not having anyone in their community who performs this role;
x Not knowing how to approach a spiritual leader or mentor; and
x Issues related to trust and confidentiality.

C. Importance of Traditional Aboriginal Culture and Teachings:

In the Needs Assessment Survey3, respondents were asked to rate how important traditional
Aboriginal culture and teachings were to them from a predetermined list of 15 items. Overall,
between 51% and 70% of respondents indicated the selected items were important or very

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important to them. By descending order, the following indicators were identified as important or
very important:

x Learning the meaning of traditional events (70%);


x Learning the meaning of traditional ceremonies (68%);
x Participating in cultural events (68%);
x Having more education about traditional spiritual beliefs (68%);
x Knowing your clan (67%);
x Learning more about traditional medicine and healing (66%);
x Being able to speak their traditional language (62%);
x Participating in traditional ceremonial events (62%);
x Learning more about the Creator (62%);
x Having a traditional name (61%);
x Having your colours (61%);
x Renew your traditional spirituality (60%);
x Receiving medical help from a tribal medicine person (54%);
x Learning more about traditional prayer (53%); and
x Learning more about traditional medicine (51%).

7KHUH ZHUH VWDWLVWLFDOO\ VLJQLILFDQW JHQGHU GLIIHUHQFHV LQ VXUYH\ UHVSRQGHQWV¶ UDWLQJ RI
importance across several of the indicators of Aboriginal culture and teachings. In each case,
women were more likely to rate the indicator as important/very important. These included:

x Learning the meaning of traditional events (75% women and 64% men);
x Learning the meaning of traditional ceremonies (72% women and 62%% men);
x Participating in cultural events (72% women and 63% men);
x Having more education about traditional spiritual beliefs (71% women and 60% men);
x Speaking their traditional language (65% women and 58% men);
x Learning more about traditional prayer (57% women and 48% men); and
x Learning more about traditional medicines (55% women and 47% men).

Women may see an indicator as more important/very important because it has traditionally been
their role to pass on cultural teachings to their children.

There also were statistically significant differences in respondent rating of importance for each
of the items across age group categories. As age group increased, so did the ranking of each
item as important/very important. The exception to this was those in the 25 to 49 age group
were more likely to indicate each items was important/very important compared to respondents
in other age groups, including those over 50 years of age.

The survey results indicate Aboriginal culture continues to flourish in the communities surveyed.
The survey also shows Aboriginal people value their culture and their traditions (Anishinabe and
Métis). Aboriginal women continue to identify with their role in transmitting culture to subsequent
generations. Opportunities clearly exist for intergenerational sharing of vital cultural information.

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Aboriginal Elders and spiritual leaders/mentors need to proactively reach out to others in the
Aboriginal community to share their cultural wisdom. The Aboriginal leadership, along with
those interested in cultural preservation and renewal, need to further commit to seeking
resources and opportunities which will support the maintenance of and revival of their culture.

Culture and Substance Abuse Treatment:

A. Perceived Importance of Culture in Treatment:

In the Needs Assessment Survey4, respondents were asked to rank whether traditional culture
was important in certain aspects of substance abuse treatment. The findings were as follows:

x 70% of respondents said culture was important/very important as part of an aftercare


program;
x 70% of respondents said culture was important/very important to enhance treatment;
x 72% of respondents said culture was important/very important to facilitate recovery; and
x 69% of respondents said culture was important/very important as an incentive for
seeking treatment.

Women were significantly more likely to state traditional cultural components were important or
very important as a part of aftercare programs (79% and 67%), to facilitate recovery (78% and
64%), and to enhance treatment (76% and 63%), and as an incentive to seek treatment (74%
and 62%).

Of the Needs Assessment Survey respondents who said they had attended substance abuse
treatment, only forty-six percent (46%) said their treatment was based on traditional Aboriginal
culture, values and beliefs. Fifty-six percent (56%) said their substance abuse treatment was
provided by Aboriginal treatment counsellors. There were no significant gender differences.

B. Rationale for Cultural-Based Treatment:

In the focus groups, we asked the Elders why they thought it was important to incorporate
culture into treatment.

x ³:HDUH$QLVKLQDEH´´:HDUH0pWLV´:

Overwhelmingly, the Elders said Aboriginal culture (Anishinabe or Métis) has to be included in
treatment because ³LWLVZKRZHDUH´ It is our being and our reality. It is our worldview. It is
that from which we draw our strength and resilience.

x Acknowledge and overcome cultural hurts:

The Elders spoke about historical trauma and its impact on the Aboriginal psyche, how
Aboriginal people have been and continue to be devalued and how Aboriginal people have

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suffered cultural loss. Elders say all Aboriginal people have experienced cultural pain. Some
turn to substances because they have not acknowledged this pain and/or they GRQ¶WNQRZKRZ
to overcome it. They said treatment is a time to deal with cultural pain and to recognize how it
has contributed to who we are as Aboriginal people today.

³7KH0pWLVKDYHDORWRIKXUWVWKDWDUHURRWHGLQRXUFXOWXUH´

³,WGLGQ¶WXVHWREHRND\WRVD\\RXZHUH1DWLYH´

³:HGRQ¶WNQRZZKRZHDUHEHFDXVHRIDOOWKDWKDVKDSSHQHGWRXV:HKDYHWR
WDONDERXWWKHVHWKLQJV7DONLQJDERXWWKHPZLOOKHOSXVKHDO´

³7DONLQJDERXWWKHSDLQLVWKHILUVWVWHSLQRXUKHDOLQJMRXUQH\´

³:HDUHVWXFN:HKDYHWRKHDODQGPRYHEH\RQGDOOWKDWSDLQ´

Dr. Yellow Horse %UDYHKHDUW ZKR ILUVW XVHG WKH WHUP ³KLVWRULFDO WUDXPD´ VXSSRUWV WKH QHHG WR
DGGUHVV FXOWXUDO KXUWV DQG ³VRXO ZRXQGV´ DV SDUW RI VXEVWDQFH DEXVH WUHDWPHQW  She says in
order to overcome historical trauma, Aboriginal people need to:

! Confront the trauma and embrace our history;


! Understand the trauma;
! Release the pain; and
! Transcend the trauma5.

x Culture As Healing:

The Elders said ³FXOWXUHLVKHDOLQJ´

³&XOWXUH KDV WR EH SDUW RI WUHDWLQJ RXU SHRSOH  3DUWLFLSDWLRQ in purification
ceremonies makes you feel lighter. It brings good dreams and good sleep. It
comforts you. It connects you with other Anishinabe and makes you feel part of
WKHJURXS´

³7KH SUayers and ceremonies bring the spirits to help you during treatment. The
spirits provide spiritual guidance and direction. This is what Elders do when they
SUD\7KH\FDOOWKHVSLULWVWRKHOS\RX´

³'RLQJRIIHULQJVin treatment helps you. You are calling the spirits to help and
\RXDUHWKDQNLQJWKHPIRUWKHLUKHOS´

³,WPDNHV\RXIHHOZKROHDVD1DWLYHSHUVRQ´

C. The Role of Elders in Substance Abuse Treatment:

Elders are generally known as the wisdom keepers. They are teachers, story-tellers, historians,
healers, counsellors, etc. In the focus groups, we asked Elders to identify their role in
substance abuse treatment.

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!
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The Elders in one focus group recommended the formation of an Elders¶ Advisory Group who
would be tasked with ³ensuring things are done in the right way ± WKH FXOWXUDO ZD\´
Additional roles assigned to the Elders included:

x Determining the location of any treatment facility:

The Elders said it is important to consult them before selecting a location for any proposed
treatment centre. Some locations are inappropriate because they are sacred sites, burial
grounds, the site of a negative event or a site that has negative legends or teachings associated
with it. There are sites on Lake of the Woods and Rainy Lake where Anishinabe legends say
negative spirits dwell. Anishinabe are not to go there or they are not to stay overnight. Elders
have historical knowledge of land use and they know the legends or teachings about the land.

³(OGHUV FRXOG WHOO \RX ZKHUH WR locate the treatment centre. There are spirits in
certain locations. It must be a good location. You have to take it to a shaking tent
DQGDVNWKHVSLULWVIRUSHUPLVVLRQWREXLOGWKHUH´

³<RX DUH WROG QRW WR JR WKHUH RU WR SRLQW DW WKH LVODQG EHFDXVH GRing so could
EULQJKDUP´

³,WVKRXOGEHEXLOWQHDUZDWHUEHFDXVHZDWHUKDVKHDOLQJSRZHUV´

x Determining the name of the treatment facility or program:

First Nation Elders in the Rainy River District prefer to use Anishinabe names for their programs
and services. We were reminded in the focus groups that even though Elders may name the
program or facility, the name itself comes from the Creator. Because names have meanings,
the Elders consider what the purpose of the program or facility is before determining its name.
Elders may or may not consult the shaking tent when bestowing a name. Once a name is
JLYHQWKHUHLVDQREOLJDWLRQRQWKHSDUWRIWKHSURJUDPRUIDFLOLW\WR³OLYHXSWR´WKHQDPH7KH\
also said certain spirits come with a name. Those spirits are intended to act as guides. The
Elders also remind us names are sacred because they come from the Creator. They need to be
treated with respect and honour. We should not shorten Anishinabe names for convenience.
This dishonours the name and its spirit(s).

x Helping design the treatment facility:

The Elders want to be involved in facility design. They said the treatment centre should reflect
Anishinabe cultural beliefs about the structure of healing lodges. It should face a certain
direction and be all on one floor, close to Mother Earth. The Elders also said they want to be
involved in preparing the site before construction.

x Determining WKH WUHDWPHQW IDFLOLW\¶V SURJUDP, Acting as cultural advisors and


delivering the cultural program:

The Elders said they should design or at a minimum be involved in designing the treatment
SURJUDP7KH(OGHUVZDQWWRHQVXUHFXOWXUHLVFRUUHFWO\LQFRUSRUDWHGLQWRWKHFHQWUH¶VRSHUDWLQJ
philosophy, into how staff is trained, into how the healing program is structured and how culture
is manifested in treatment approaches. The Elders particularly want to ensure any ceremonies

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and rituals employed by the facility are conducted according to correct cultural protocols, The
treatment centre must use Elders/healers recognized by the Anishinabe/Métis community.

³(OGHUVVKRXOGEXLOGDQGLPSOHPHQWWKHSURJUDP´

³(OGHUV FDUU\ WKH WUDGLWLRQDO NQRZOHGJH :H VKRXOG GHYHORSWKH FXOWXUDO SURJUDP
WRHQVXUHWKH\DUHEDVHGRQWUDGLWLRQDOYDOXHV´

³You have to use good Elders; not bad Elders. The Elders know who does what.
7KH\NQRZZKLFK(OGHUVDUHJRRG(OGHUVDQGZKRLVUHVSHFWHG´

³<RX KDYH WR XVH WKH ULJKW SHRSOH  (OGHUV FDQ WHOO \RX ZKR WKH\ DUH  8VH RQO\
2MLEZD\KHDOHUV´

³<RXKDYHWRXVHWhe Elders from around here ± Anishinabe Elders. If you bring in


(OGHUVIURPRWKHUSODFHV\RXGLVUHVSHFWWKH(OGHUVKHUH´

³,W LV QHYHU RND\ WR EULQJ LQ DQ (OGHU IURP DQRWKHU WULEH  ,W LV GLVUHVSHFWIXO  ,W
FUHDWHVFRQIXVLRQ:HDUH$QLVKLQDEH´

³,I\RX GRQRWFRQGXFWWKHFHUHPRQLHVFRUUHFWO\\RXFDQKXUWVRPHRQH´

³&HUHPRQLHVQHHGWREHGRQHE\RXURZQSHRSOH´

³6WDIIQHHGWRNQRZWKHFHUHPRQLHV7KH\QHHGWRNQRZZKRWKH(OGHUVDUHDQG
ZKDWWKHLUVSHFLDOLW\LV´

³<RX KDYH WR NQRZ ZKDW \RX DUH GRLQJ Teachings should not be blind. You
VKRXOGNQRZZK\ZHGRFHUWDLQWKLQJV´

³(OGHUVVKRXOGVHW-XSWKHSURJUDP(OGHUVNQRZZKDWLVDSSURSULDWH´

³:HQHHGWRGHVLJQWUHDWPHQWRXUZD\$V(OGHUVZHKDYHDFXOWXUDOSHUVSHFWLYH
We know what must go into opHUDWLQJWKHWUHDWPHQWSURJUDP´

³7KHUHVKRXOGEHDFXOWXUDODGYLVRURQVWDIIWRJXLGHWKHSURJUDPDQGHQVXUHWhat
WKLQJVDUHEHLQJGRQHFRUUHFWO\´

x Participating in interventions:

The Elders said they should make themselves available when it becomes necessary to stage an
intervention with a substance abuser.

³,I D IDPLO\LV JRLQJWR GR DQLQWHUYHQWLRQWKH\ VKRXOGKDYH DQ (OGHU WKHUH 7KH
(OGHUZLOOHQVXUHWKLQJVDUHGRQHLQDJRRGZD\´

³:HFDQKHOSJXLGHLQWHUYHQWLRQV´

x Providing counselling and support:

The Elders said through their life experience, including their own history with substance abuse,
they have knowledge they can share with the ceQWUH¶VFOLHQWV7KH\FDQDOVRSURYLGH one-on-
one counselling or counselling in groups.

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³:HFDQKHOSZLWKWKHFRXQVHOOLQJ:HFDQVKDUHRXURZQH[SHULHQFHV:HFDQ
WDONDERXWKRZZHGHDOWZLWKRXUSUREOHPVDQGLVVXHV´

³:HFDQZRUNZLWKWKHFOLHQWVDQGWHOOWKHPWKHUHDUHGLIIHUHQWZD\VWRGHDOZLWK
WKHLUSUREOHPV´

³(OGHUVDUHFRXQVHOORUV´

³:HQHHGWRVKDUHRXUOLIHH[SHULHQFHDQGRXUVWRULHV´

³:HFDQVKDUHRXUVWRULHVDERXWXVLQJDQGQRWXVLQJ:HDOOPDNHPLVWDNHV:H
GRWKHEHVWZHFDQ:HVWRSSHGXVLQJ´

³:HFDQWHOOWKHPWKH\DUHQRWEDGSHRSOH. We have all done bad things at some


SRLQW:HQHHGWRWHOOWKHPRXUVWRULHVVRWKH\ZLOOXQGHUVWDQGZHVWUXJJOHGWRR´

³:HVKRXOGEHWKHUHWROLVWHQWRWKHFOLHQWDQGWDONZLWKWKHP´

Preferred Attributes of Elders Working In Substance Abuse Treatment:

The Elders identified the attributes they want Elders who work with the treatment program to
exhibit. The (OGHUVVKRXOGEH³non-MXGJHPHQWDO´ They need to commit to ³be there through
WKH HQWLUH WUHDWPHQW SURFHVV´ The Elders should ³GHYHORS UHODWLRQVKLSV ZLWK WKH
treatment FOLHQWV 'RQ¶W MXVW YLVLW´ Elders must ³not be HQDEOHUV´ The Elders need to
³UHFRJQL]H WKHLU RZQ OLPLWDWLRQV´ They need to ³NHHS FRPPXQLFDWLRQ OLQHV RSHQ DQG
non-WKUHDWHQLQJ´  Elders need to be available but they should ³OHW WKH FOLHQW FKRRVH ZKR
thH\ DUH PRVW FRPIRUWDEOH ZRUNLQJ ZLWK´  Elders should visit the treatment centre on a
³YROXQWDU\EDVLV´to do ³IULHQGO\-YLVLWLQJ´ They should be from the area and have the ³WKH
UHVSHFWRIWKHFRPPXQLW\´ They should be ³WUXVWZRUWK\´

D. Cultural Programming:
In their focus groups, the Elders provided insight into what the cultural programming within an
Aboriginal treatment centre might look like. The Elders said the foundation of the program is the
³6HYHQ*UDQGIDWKHU7HDFKLQJV´The Seven Grandfather Teachings are associated with the
seven gifts of Honesty, Humility, Courage, Wisdom, Respect, Generosity and Love. The basics
of the Seven Grandfather Teachings are:

To cherish knowledge is to know wisdom;


To know love is to know peace;
To honour all of Creation is to have respect;
Bravery is to face the foe with integrity;
Honesty in facing a situation is to be brave;
Humility is to know yourself as a sacred part of Creation;
Truth is to know all of these things.

The Elders identified other cultural elements that should be incorporated into substance abuse
treatment.

"&+!
!
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x Utilization of the language as much as possible so the spirits know what is being said and
so people can learn the language and know its importance;

x Teaching clients about and giving them spirit names so the Creator and spirits know
who they are;

x Teaching clients about the clan system and its role in Anishinabe society. Teach clients
their obligations under the clan system;

x Teaching and conducting purification and cleansing ceremonies including the sweat lodge
and smudging ( sage and sweet grass) and their associated teachings and protocols;

x Teaching clients about fasting and what its purpose is, when it should be done and how it
should be done;

x Drum teachings ± what is the meaning of the drum and how it is to be used and how it is to
be maintained;

x Feather teachings ± what their meaning is, why they are used, how to use them, how to
take care of them and your obligations towards them;

x Four Direction teachings (Medicine Wheel) ± teachings of the Medicine Wheel and the
Sacred Directions;

x Pipe teachings ± purpose of the pipe and how it is used, protocols regarding their use;

x Offerings ± purpose of offerings, different types of offerings, how to make offerings, etc.;

x Healing ceremonies;

x Traditional medicine ± the different types of medicine, how to gather medicines, how to
make medicines, when to gather medicines, how to use them, etc.;

x Northern Lights Teachings;

x Stages of Life/Rites of Passage Teachings;

x :RPHQ¶V7HDFKLQJV

x Jiggle Dress Teachings; and

x Seasonal ceremonies.

"&$!
!
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Cultural-Based Treatment versus Culturally-Appropriate Treatment:

Because Aboriginal people often say mainstream addiction treatment programs are not
culturally-appropriate, the Project sought the (OGHUV¶ guidance in determining what is or is not
culturally-appropriate treatment. The Elders accommodated the question and tried their best to
SURYLGH DQ H[SODQDWLRQ 2EVHUYLQJ WKH (OGHUV¶ GLVFXVVLRQV Project staff saw they were
struggling with the question.

The Elders reiterated ³culture is not an add-on.´ They also said ³culture is healing´ and
³culture is the basis of everything.´

According to the Elders, culturally-appropriate treatment is an attempt on the part of mainstream


society to accommodate Aboriginal needs within the western approach to substance abuse
treatment. The Elders said while this bi-cultural approach to treatment might work for some
Aboriginal people, it is not what they mean when they talk about culturally-based treatment.
The following analogy is an attempt to capture what the Elders are saying.

The Cake Analogy

The western substance abuse system presents the Aboriginal people with a cake. The cake is
white and fluffy and represents substance abuse treatment, but the cake could very well be any
behaviour health program. The\VD\WRWKH$ERULJLQDOSHRSOH³:e want to share this cake with
you but we know you have problems with this cake. What can we do to make this cake more
palatable to you? How do we make it more culturally-appropriate?´

The Aboriginal people want a share of the cake and they want healing so they say: ³You can
hire some Aboriginal people? You can bring in some Elders to do cultural teachings? You can
take people to sweat lodges´? The western substance abuse system thanks them for their input
and they set about making a cake that is more culturally-appropriate. In the end, they come up
with a white cake with some chocolate frosting. The Aboriginal people look at the cake and
agreed it looks better to them but when they try it, they are disappointed. They ask the Elders to
tell them what is wrong with the cake.

The Elders looked at the white cake with its chocolate icing and say the cake is not a good for
Anishinabe people. The Elders say: ³Culture is not an add-on. If you bring that cake into our
communities, you are dragging in a Trojan horse. It is not the gift you think it is. The values and
beliefs that are hidden inside the cake are those of its maker. You can dress-up the white cake
in feathers and beads and all of the outward manifestations of Anishinabe culture, but it is still a
white cake. It is the dominant cultures world-view. It is laden with their values, belief systems
and norms. If you bring that cake into our communities, you are risking further acculturation.
You may end up doing our people more harm than good.´

If the mainstream treatment system wants to help Aboriginal people heal; they must let the
Anishinabe/Métis people make their own cake. The eggs and the flour they put in the cake are
Anishinabe or Métis values and beliefs. The baking soda is their spirituality. It is this spirituality

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!
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that will make the cake rise. When the cake is done, the Anishinabe or Métis culture will be in
the texture of the cake. It will be in its flavour. You will not be able to take the Anishinabe or
Métis culture out of the cake even if you want to. Culture will not be an add-on.

The cake made by the Anishinabe or Métis will be different from the cake made by the Cree, the
Mohawk or the Inuit. What the Aboriginal people make may not even resemble a cake as
mainstream society understands a cake to look like but it will be culturally-based.

Aboriginal Control and Ownership:

Control and ownership of substance abuse treatment designed to meet Aboriginal needs has to
be a goal of Aboriginal healing. While control and ownership issues have been linked to the
political goal of Aboriginal sovereignty, we present it here as a requirement for advancing
Aboriginal healing. The Aboriginal Healing Foundation in its Final Report said a necessary
element to heal historic trauma is personal and cultural safety.6 It said ³HVWDEOLVKLQJVDIHW\LVD
prerequisite to healing from trauma. This includes ensuring physical and emotional security and
SURYLGLQJVHUYLFHVLQDVHWWLQJWKDWUHIOHFWVSDUWLFLSDQWV¶FXOWXUHVDQGWUDGLWLRQV7´ Unsafe cultural
environments are those which diminish, demean or disempower the cultural identity and well-
being of an individual. Substance abuse treatment centres based on the western model do not
present culturally-safe environments for Aboriginal healing because:

x The western model of substance abuse treatment, like other western behavioural health
programs, is based on western values and norms. The western model can act as a vehicle
for the further acculturation of Aboriginal people;

x The western model of substance abuse treatment is predominately delivered by non-


Aboriginal people who have been raised with western values and who have been trained in
the western medical model. No matter how sensitive they may be to Aboriginal culture and
history, they cannot help but deliver counselling in the context of their own value system;

x Aboriginal people who have experienced historical trauma may not be able to undergo
cathartic healing and move beyond the trauma within the western substance abuse
treatment model because:

! The non-Aboriginal counsellors are seen by the client as representative of the


culture of the oppressor;

! Non-Aboriginal cannot address historical trauma in the social context of the


Aboriginal people because of their positioning within the culture of the oppressor;

! Aboriginal people cannot release the pain, anger or resentment they may feel
about historic trauma in the presence of non-Aboriginal counsellors for fear of
offending them;

"&#!
!
!

! Some Aboriginal clients may consciously or subconsciously resist dealing with


their historical trauma in the presence of non-Aboriginal counsellors and clients
as a form of defiance;

! Substance abuse treatment generally takes place in an environment where the


Aboriginal client is in the minority. The attitudes of other clients towards
Aboriginal people may make it culturally and personally unsafe for the Aboriginal
client to discuss historical trauma; and

! Western treatment centres do not necessarily have or take the time to fully
explore historic trauma with Aboriginal clients because of restricted treatment
cycle timelines.

x Part of cultural healing is cultural recovery. Cultural recovery involves the reinstatement of
cultural pride, identity and a sense of belonging. A non-Aboriginal treatment centres cannot
help Aboriginal clients reinvigorate their identity or sense of belonging to and within the
Aboriginal community. This can only occur within the Aboriginal culture and the Aboriginal
community.

Aboriginal controlled and operated substance abuse treatment centres are best positioned to
deal with historic trauma because:

! WKH\VKDUHWKHFOLHQW¶VKLVWRU\

! they know innately the pain associated with historic trauma;

! they are culturally-based and are able to use Aboriginal value system and healing
practices to aid in cultural recovery; and

! they provide a culturally safe environment in which the client can reinvigorate his
or her cultural identity and sense of cultural connectedness.

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Chapter 11: Strength and Resilience


Introduction:
When the results of the Rainy River District Aboriginal Addiction Needs Assessment Survey
were tabulated, concern was expressed that the results might be used to further stereotype
Aboriginal people. There also was concern the Aboriginal community might feel overwhelmed
with the seeming intractability of the substance abuse problems identified. The latter was
brought home when, at a community briefing, a \RXQJPDQLQTXLUHG³+DYHQ¶WZHJRWDQ\WKLQJ
JRRGJRLQJIRUXV"´+HZDVULJKWWRDVNWKHTXHVWLRQ. There is a tendency in social research to
focus on the negatives and give short shrift to the positives. The Project Team did not want to
conclude this report without UHVSRQGLQJWRWKH \RXQJ PDQ¶VTuery. From our experience with
the Project, we believe the Aboriginal community has a lot going for it.

Our People:
,QWKH3URMHFW¶VHLJKWHHQ ) focus groups, we met over 100 individuals who told their stories. In
doing so, they showed great courage in sharing the intimacies of their life events. Some stories
were sad and painful; others were funny and uplifting. While we gained in our knowledge of
substance abuse in the Aboriginal community, more importantly, we learned about the depth of
personal strength and resilience that lies within our people.

6WHYH3HQQ\DXWKRURI³+LULQJWKH%HVW3HRSOH´ZURWH

What is a Hero?1

³$KHURLVVRPHRQHZKRVKRZVJUHDWFRXUDJHDQGVWUHQJWKLQWKHIDFHRIDGYHUVLW\

Courage is not so much the absence of fear, as the deeply held conviction that
something else is more important.

+HURHVGRQ¶WWKLQNRIWKHPVHOYHVDVKHURHVWKH\MXVWGRWKHULJKWWKLQJ

7KHLQQHUVWUHQJWKRIKHURHVJLYHVVWUHQJWKWRRWKHUV´

We met heroes of all ages and genders through this Project. Their story telling reminded us that
we are all human. We all make mistakes but we are not our mistakes. We also learned that
eYHU\RQHKDVLWLQWKHPWRVXUYLYHDQGRYHUFRPHOLIH¶VFKDOOHQJHVOur communities are full of
survivors. These survivors are willing to share their histories so we can learn from their life
experiences, if we only ask. Our People are our strength.

Family:
We learned there is dysfunction in some families but we also learned family is of paramount
importance to Aboriginal people. We heard mothers and grandmothers express deep abiding
love and concern for their children suffering from substance abuse. We heard from

"#$!
!
!

grandmothers who have taken on the responsibility of raising their grandchildren. We heard
individuals say they sought treatment because of family directed intervention. Aboriginal youth
said they were able to resist the temptation of doing drugs because they learned good values at
home and because they had positive family role models.

The extended family continues to play a role in Aboriginal families. The Needs Assessment
Survey found that approximately 30% of respondents reported an extended family member
living with them - siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, cousins, or in-laws. Not
only do extended families share resources and supports, they also assist in childrearing and the
passing on of cultural values and traditions. Our families are our strength.

Cultural Preservation and Resilience:


The Needs Assessment Survey found 64% of respondents participated in traditional Aboriginal
cultural events in the 12 months preceding the survey while 40% participated in traditional
Aboriginal ceremonies. Sixty-eight percent (68%) of respondents said participating in cultural
events was important/very important to them. Sixty-two percent (62%) said participating in
traditional ceremonies was important/very important. Sixty percent (60%) said renewal of their
traditional spirituality was important/very important to them. These statistics show that
Anishinabe culture and the Métis culture is alive in our communities and is a source of great
community pride and personal self-esteem.

Our Elders are great examples of both personal and cultural resiliency. They have experienced
historical trauma and personal adversity but they continue to play a positive role in the
preservation of our cultural traditions. Our cultural identity and our connection to our traditional
knowledge, beliefs and practices are an important component in the resilience of our people and
our communities. Our culture is our strength.

Communities:
Our communities are also a source of our resiliency and strength as a People. Everyone we
met in the focus groups had a strong sense of community. First Nation people in particular see
WKHUHVHUYHDV³KRPH´,WLVZKHUHWKH\JUHZXSDQGZKHUHWKH\DQGWKHLUH[WHQGHGIDPLO\PD\
continue to live. It is where their friends are and where they have social supports. It is where
WKH\KDYHDVHQVHRI³EHORQJLQJ´7KH0pWLVSHRSOHhave similar feelings for their community.
7KH$ERULJLQDO³FRPPXQLW\´LVDSODFHZKHUH$ERULJLQDOSHRSOHIHHOSHUVRQDODQGFXOWXUDOVDIHW\
Our communities are our strength.

Aboriginal Identity:
Throughout the focus groups, we heard people talking about the importance of being
Anishinabe or Métis. Aboriginal people identify with their ethnicity. It is very much part of
knowing who we are. Being Anishinabe or Métis, as the case may be, is our strength.

"#%!
!
!

Leadership:
This Project would not have been possible had it not been for those Aboriginal leaders that
stepped forward and agreed to work collectively to address the issue of substance abuse,
particularly opiate abuse. First Nations worked with Métis and reserves worked with urban
Aboriginal organizations. First Nations from differing tribal areas participated. They were able
to do so because they put aside the jurisdictional and political boundaries that normally
impede cooperation and collaboration. These Aboriginal leaders moved beyond their normal
operating paradigms because they shared a collective desire to improve the well-being of their
members. Good leaders act as change agents.

Willingness to Heal:
In the focus groups, Aboriginal people spoke of personal and cultural losses. Despite the pain
and tragedy they experienced, few dwelled on this. Instead, they spoke of their decision to
make positive changes in their lives and to embark on a healing journey.

Elders spoke of finding the strength to overcome their residential school experience and the
need for truth and reconciliation sessions to further their healing process.

Mothers spoke of intergenerational substance abuse and its impact on their families. They
VSRNH RI WKHLU GHVLUH WR UHFRQFLOH WKHLU UHODWLRQVKLSV ZLWK WKHLU FKLOGUHQ  2QH PRWKHU VDLG ³,
would tell my children I am sorry for what I put them through. I would apologize and hope they
understand that I did what I knew how to do at the time. I would hope they would learn from
P\PLVWDNHV´

Others, young and old, spoke of embarking on a journey of recovery from substance abuse.
While some continue to struggle with their sobriety on a daily basis, all have made a
commitment to take the journey despite its on-going challenges.

What became evident in our focus group discussions is there is a growing willingness on the
part of many Aboriginal people to begin the healing process. Healing does not occur in
isolation. It needs to be supported and encouraged. If the healing of Aboriginal communities
and Nations is to occur, it will begin with a grass-roots movement of people with the courage
WRFRQIURQWDQGRYHUFRPHOLIH¶VKXUdles. Our people have shown they have begun this journey
with optimism and hope in their heart.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Recommendations
Leadership:

1. Lack of sustained collective Aboriginal leadership on substance abuse:

Primary Identified Problem ± Substance abuse is an on-going problem for all Aboriginal
communities in the Rainy River District. Opiate addiction is having a devastating impact on
the health and social well-being of individuals both on- and off-reserve, families and
communities. While some First Nations have taken action to respond to the problem, there
is a need for a more collective Aboriginal strategy which will address issues across the
substance abuse continuum ± prevention, intervention, treatment, aftercare and
control/enforcement. Some Ontario Aboriginal political organizations have raised the profile
of opiate addiction in their respective communities. Their issues are now on the radar
screen of the public and government. Similar action is needed in the Rainy River District.

Recommendation:

1,1 Aboriginal leadership prioritize substance abuse on their political agendas by


developing a District-wide Aboriginal Addiction Strategy. The Strategy should
support First Nations and urban aboriginal organizations in helping
community members achieve personal healing and recovery from substance
abuse while also improving the quality of life of Aboriginal families and
communities. The Strategy should:

x Include all Aboriginal populations of the District (First Nations, Métis and
urban populations) as substance abuse does not respect political or
jurisdictional boundaries;

x Address issues across the substance abuse continuum;

x Maximize use of available expertise and resources within the Aboriginal


and non-aboriginal community;

x Maximize use of both federal and provincial funding support; and

x Use the results of the Rainy River District Aboriginal Addiction Needs
Assessment and the Treatment and Support Services Project Report as a
starting point for further discussion and strategy development.

"#"!
!
!

Treatment:
1. Lack of Cultural-Based Treatment Services in the Rainy River District

Primary Identified Problem ± Aboriginal people comprise over 56% of the Rainy River
'LVWULFW¶V WUHDWPHQW SRSXODWLRQ DQGWKH\ access services both within and outside the Rainy
River District. Despite this, Aboriginal people lack adequate access to cultural-based
treatment services. There are no residential addiction treatment services or withdrawal
management services in the Rainy River District. Aboriginal people want addiction
treatment services provided closer to home. There is also a need for improved client
management systems which track Aboriginal use of treatment services. This is especially
needed within the NNADAP treatment system.

Recommendations:

1.1 Develop culturally-based treatment services in the Rainy River District with
priority given to:

a) The development and implementation of an Aboriginal (Anishinabe and


Métis) residential treatment centre focussing on both opiate and alcohol
addiction; and

b) The development of Withdrawal Management/Detox Services for all


residents of the District.

1.2 Ensure Aboriginal Elders are actively consulted and involved in the design,
development and evaluation of the proposed treatment centre and Withdrawal
Management/Detox Service.

1.3 Ensure that both the proposed treatment centre and Withdrawal Management
Service implement a Client Management System to aid in client tracking and
the measurement of service effectiveness and efficiency.

2. Lack of Gender-Based Treatment Services and Supports for Aboriginal


Women in the Rainy River District

Primary Identified Problem ± Environmental and systemic barriers prevent Aboriginal


women from accessing and receiving gender-appropriate substance abuse treatment and
support. These barriers include: lack of child care, lack of gender-specific treatment which
address issues related to violence and sexual abuse, and a lack of recovery support
including transitional housing.

"#$!
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!

Recommendations:

2.1 Ensure that the proposed Aboriginal Treatment Centre and Withdrawal
Management Service develop and implement strategies for addressing
gender-based needs as part of their development and delivery plans. Options
might include:

x Implementation of gender-based treatment cycles;


x Provision of child-care;
x Programming to address issues related to sexual abuse and domestic
violence and gender-based victimization; and
x Family counselling and support.

2.2 Develop gender-based support services including self-help groups, life-skills


programs, supportive housing, et cetera; and

2.3 Develop and enhance cultural-based mental health programs in the Rainy
River District for Aboriginal women aimed at addressing issues identified in
the Rainy River District Aboriginal Needs Assessment Survey including
acquaintance and domestic violence, sexual abuse and victimization.

3. Lack of Treatment Services for Aboriginal Youth in the Rainy River District

Primary Identified Problem ± There are no cultural-based addiction treatment services


specifically targeted to Aboriginal youth within the District. Individuals under 18 years
cannot be admitted to Withdrawal Management/Detox. Addiction treatment programs lack
staff trained to deal with the special needs of Aboriginal youth.

Recommendation:

3.1 Develop and implement cultural-based treatment services in the Rainy River
District for Aboriginal youth. Options might include:

x Implementation of youth-specific treatment cycles;

x Day treatment programs which include: individual counselling,


family/parent counselling and support, group therapy,
education/academics and life skills development; and

x Provision of out-patient counselling provided by counsellors trained in the


special needs of Aboriginal youth. Youth out-patient counselling should
be available in the evenings, as well as, during the day.

"#%!
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!

4. Lack of Support for Abstinence-based Approaches for Treatment of Opiate


Addiction

Primary Identified Problem ± Methadone Maintenance Therapy (MMT) is the primary


treatment modality offered to opiate-dependent Aboriginal people in the Rainy River
District. Some Aboriginal service providers and some opiate-dependent Aboriginal people
believe that local health service providers are pushing MMT over rapid opiate detoxification
or opiate step down to abstinence. They believe MMT is being promoted by local health
service providers because government policies present MMT as the gold-standard in the
treatment of opiate addiction, because health service providers lack training in the provision
of step-down programs, and because step-down programs require a substantial investment
of time on the part of health service providers. Abstinence-oriented therapy is nevertheless
an important alternative to MMT.

Recommendation:

4.1 Abstinence-oriented therapies should be promoted to opiate-dependent


Aboriginal people along with MMT. Physicians and other health service
providers should receive appropriate training in step-down to abstinence care
in order to meet the needs of those clients who would prefer this option.

Aftercare:

1. Lack of Structured Aftercare Program for Aboriginal People in the Rainy River
District

Primary Identified Problem ± Aboriginal clients discharged from treatment have problems
accessing community-based aftercare support services because of a lack of service
coordination and service availability. Treatment centres report the lack of community-based
recovery services (aftercare) contributes to Aboriginal client relapse.

Recommendations:

1.1 Develop a structured Aftercare Program for Aboriginal People based on the
Recovery Management Model. The key features of the Recovery Management
Model include:

x Active client engagement versus crisis-oriented engagement.

Active client engagement strategies include: community outreach, pre-


treatment recovery support and removal of environmental obstacles to

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treatment service access e.g.) transportation, treatment cost, child care,


etc.

x Individual, family, community and cultural interventions and support;

x Establishment of a Recovery Management Team that is multidimensional


including staff members with a wide-variety of skills and expertise;

x Inclusion of Elders and traditional healers in the Recovery Management


Team;

x Provision of a large menu of service and support activities that are


uniquely combined and supplemented to meet the stage-dependent needs
of people in recovery;

x Sustained monitoring and support versus low-intensity, short- duration


services; and

x Client-Provider relationship based on a partnership-model.

1.2 Establish community-based Aboriginal Recovery Management Teams based


on the Recovery Management Model. These teams would consist of existing
health and social service providers who would be jointly responsible for the
provision of client-driven care to support addiction recovery. The key features
of the approach:

x The individual can access care through any door not just addiction
services;

x The individual is a client of the Aboriginal community services not a client


of one specific community program;

x The client is a partner in his/her recovery;

x Case Management is done by the Recovery Management Team;

x Community services are jointly responsible for the provision of wrap-


around care;

x Support DQGFDUHLVDOVRSURYLGHGWRWKHFOLHQW¶VIDPLO\ and

x Care and support is provided on a long-term basis in keeping with the fact
that addiction is a chronic disease subject to the on-going risk of relapse.

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1.3 Work with Aboriginal communities to develop community-defined and


community-specific models of Recovery Management Teams.

1.4 Provide on-going training and support to Aboriginal community-based


Recovery Management Teams.

1.5 Introduce Case Management Software to support Recovery Management


Team coordination and service integration at the community level. Ensure on-
going training to members of the Recovery Management Team.

Prevention/Health Promotion/Education:

1. Need for enhanced prevention and health promotion activities to prevent


substance abuse and reduce associated risks:

Primary Identified Problem- The Rainy River District Aboriginal Addiction Needs
Assessment Survey and Treatment and Support Service Project Report identified the need
for prevention and health promotion activities aimed at the prevention of substance abuse
and the reduction of associated risks. The reports found:

x High rates of alcohol and drug consumption by Aboriginal youth under aged 18 years;
x High rates of binge drinking across age groups;
x High rates of alcohol and opiate consumption of Aboriginal women of child-bearing
years;
x High rates of non-traditional tobacco use by all age groups;
x High rates of physical, psychological/emotional and sexual abuse coupled with high
rates of substance abuse by both victim and perpetrator; and
x High rates of child physical, psychological/emotional and sexual abuse.

Recommendation:

1.1 Fund prevention and health promotion activities aimed at the prevention of
substance abuse and the reduction of associated risks. Emphasize activities
targeted to the findings of the Rainy River District Aboriginal Addiction Needs
Assessment Survey and Treatment and Support Services Project Report.

2. Lack of awareness amongst Aboriginal community members of the signs and


symptoms of Opiate abuse and the pros and cons of Methadone Maintenance
Therapy:

Primary Identified Issue ± The Aboriginal community lacks factual, up-to-date information
concerning opiate addiction including what opiates are, what they look like, and the physical,
mental and social signs of opiate abuse. Communities also lack information about

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Methadone Maintenance Therapy and its efficacy in treating opiate addiction. As a result,
Aboriginal Methadone Therapy clients feel stigmatized and discriminated against by
community members and some service providers.

Recommendation:

2.1 Implement community education and awareness sessions on Opiate addiction


and Methadone Maintenance Therapy in the Aboriginal community.

Training:
1. Lack of Up-to-date training for Aboriginal Addiction Workers:

Primary Identified Issue ± The skill set and competencies of NNADAP workers in the
Rainy River District need further enhancement to meet their changing workload demands.
Some need additional training to respond effectively to the opiate addiction issue that has
arisen in First Nation communities in the last five years. Treatment service providers have
identified the need to train NNADAP workers and other Aboriginal addiction workers in
conducting client assessments and in developing treatment plans. There is a need for
accredited training that will help ensure Aboriginal clients receive quality services and instil
in non-Aboriginal addiction service providers confidence in the skill-level of their Aboriginal
colleagues.

Recommendation:

Fund accredited training for addiction workers employed by First Nations and
Aboriginal service agencies. Up-grade Aboriginal addiction workers job descriptions
to accurately reflect their duties and responsibilities. Match proposed training to
reflect the skills, knowledge and attributes need to fulfill the revised job
specifications.

2. Lack of addiction training for Aboriginal Health and Social Service Providers:

Primary Identified Problem ± Aboriginal clients believe that many Aboriginal health and
social service providers lack up-to-date training in the field of addictions. As a result, they
are unable to adequately meet the needs of Aboriginal clients with substance abuse issues.
Some workers may be introducing personal biases against substance abusers into the
client-provider relationship. The introduction of the Recovery Management Model and the
shared caseload concept into the Aboriginal service environment will require a shift in the
current health and social service delivery paradigm. Workers will require training to facilitate
the proposed shift in service delivery.

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Recommendation:

2.1 Fund First Nation and Aboriginal service agencies to provide addictions
training for their front-line health and social service workers. This training
should include an emphasis on opiate addiction and the Recovery
Management Model.

Enforcement:

1. Inadequate implementation of measures to control the sale and distribution of


controlled substances in the Aboriginal community:

Primary Identified Problem ± Aboriginal community members report bootlegging and drug
trafficking is increasing in the Aboriginal community. Aboriginal people believe that the drug
trafficking problem is directly related to motorcycle clubs and Indian gangs. Aboriginal
people are aware that some people on prescribed opiates or on Methadone are selling their
prescriptions or carries. While Aboriginal people claim to know who is involved in
bootlegging, drug trafficking and prescription drug diversion, there is a reluctance to inform
law enforcement for fear of reprisals and/or because a family member may be involved.
Aboriginal community members live in fear because of the increase in drug-related property
crime and assaults. Aboriginal seniors and children are at increased risk for drug-related
crime, neglect and abuse.

Recommendation:

1.1 Rainy River District Aboriginal leaders partner with federal, provincial and
First Nation law enforcement officials to develop viable strategies for
addressing the issue of drug trafficking and associated crime in the
Aboriginal community.

2. There is a need for Aboriginal restorative justice models in the Rainy River
District that combine the need for the protection of public safety and the
recognition of addiction as a chronic disease:

Primary Identified Problem ± Aboriginal people want the issue of bootlegging and drug-
trafficking addressed in the interests of public safety. Concurrently, they recognized that
many people engage in bootlegging and drug-trafficking to support their addictions.

Recommendation:

2.1 Rainy River District Aboriginal leaders partner with the federal and provincial
justice system to examine the feasibility of establishing an Aboriginal Healing

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to Wellness Court modelled after Drug Courts and U.S. Tribal Healing to
Wellness Courts.

The Healing to Wellness Court would handle cases involving alcohol and
drug-using Aboriginal offenders through an extensive supervision and
treatment program. The Court would bring the full weight of all interveners
(judge, prosecutor, defence counsel, substance abuse treatment specialists,
probation officer, law enforcement and correctional personnel, educational
and vocational experts, community leaders and others) to bear, forcing the
offender to confront their substance abuse problem.

3. Many community members want mandatory drug-testing of Elected Leaders


and Band employees:

Primary Identified Problem ± There are wide-spread reports that some First Nation leaders
and band employees have substance abuse problems. There is concern that the quality of
First Nation governance and service delivery is being compromised by this. Many
community members feel that First Nation governments are enabling these elected leaders
and band employees in their addiction by failing to address addiction in the Council
chambers and the workplace. Community members also are concerned the individuals
involved are acting as negative role models for First Nation youth. Some community
members expressed concern that their band offices are being identified as where you go to
purchase drugs.

Recommendations:

3.1 First Nations implement mandatory drug-testing of all band employees and
elected leaders1 with due consideration to the protection of human rights.

3.2 Establish and/or implement Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) to assist


band employees in substance abuse recovery. Implementation of EAPs
should be fair and equitable.

Investment in Aboriginal Community Strengths:

1. Need to Invest in Aboriginal Community Strengths and Cultural Protective


Factors:

Primary Identified Problem ± In recent years, social researchers have come under
criticism by Aboriginal people for fixating on negative states of Aboriginal human behaviour
e.g. diseases, deficits and disorders. They argue by focussing on the deficit-model,
researchers have promoted negative stereotyping of Aboriginal people and entrenched

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feelings of low self-worth in Aboriginal people and communities. The deficit-model also
forms the basis of government needs-based funding to the Aboriginal community.
Aboriginal communities must drag out a litany of their health and social problems in order to
justify the need for financial resourcing. There is a need for a paradigm shift on the part of
funding agencies. Funders should also invest in the strengths of the Aboriginal community
because it is these strengths (strong cultural identification, extended family, strong
community identification, etc.) that act as protective factors against substance abuse.

Recommendation:

Government must invest in the strengths and protective factors in the Aboriginal
communities of the Rainy River District as part of the strategy for addressing
Aboriginal substance abuse. This might include funding:

x Cultural programming;

x Youth development;

x Aboriginal arts;

x Et cetera.

Substance Abuse Service Collaboration, Coordination and


Integration:

1. Lack of joint Aboriginal and mainstream substance abuse service


collaboration, coordination and integration across the Rainy River District:

Primary Identified Problem ± Participants at the Service Provider Forum convened by the
Treatment and Support Services Project in October 2009 identified the need for enhanced
substance abuse service collaboration, coordination and integration across the District.
While Aboriginal people comprise over 56% of the substance abuse treatment clients within
the Rainy River District, there is a noticeable absence of Aboriginal involvement in the
planning, design, implementation and governance of local substance abuse services.
Further, Aboriginal and mainstream service providers identified the need to overcome
jurisdictional boundaries in order to work together to improve the health and social outcomes
of Aboriginal clients. The Service Provider Forum concluded with a commitment on the part
of those presents to work collaboratively on substance abuse issues affecting the Rainy
River District.

Recommendation:

1.1 Build on the outcome of the Service Providers Forum by establishing a Rainy
River District Addiction and Mental Health Network to support improved service

"*+!
!
!

coordination, collaboration and integration. The membership will be founded on


the principle of equal partnership between Aboriginal and mainstream service
providers. Issues which the Network might address include:

x Improved case management;

x Exploring opportunities for joint training;

x Development of culture-based assessment instruments;

x Development of joint operating protocols, memorandums of understanding,


etc.

x Cross-cultural training;

x Expertise and resource sharing;

x Et cetera.

Special Needs of the Métis:

1. Lack of support for Métis directed solutions for Métis addiction issues:

Primary Identified Problem ± The Rainy River District Aboriginal Addiction Needs
Assessment Survey found substance abuse issues exist within the Métis community of the
Rainy River District. Despite this, the needs of the Métis are often overlooked in the
planning, delivery and resourcing of substance abuse programs within the District. Unlike
First Nations, the Métis receive no funding support to access treatment services.
Substance abuse services do not incorporate Métis cultural and traditions nor do they
recognize Métis historic and personal trauma. The Métis have a right to design and
implement Métis solutions to Métis health problems, including addiction problems.

Recommendation:

1.1 Involve the Métis, as equal partners, in the development of an Rainy River
District Aboriginal Addiction Strategy; and

1.2 Support and fund Métis defined strategies for addressing substance abuse
within the Métis community.

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Aboriginal Substance Abuse Funding:

1. Lack of funding to support Aboriginal prevention, treatment, aftercare and


enforcement/control strategies:

Primary Identified Problem - Aboriginal communities within the Rainy River District (First
Nation, Métis and urban) lack sustainable resourcing to address the complexities of the
substance abuse problem facing their people.

Resolution No. 74/2007 of the Special Chiefs Assembly (Assembly of First Nations) held on
December 11th to 13th, 2007 (Ottawa) called for appropriate funding to First Nations to
combat drug abuse and drug trafficking and to raise awareness at the community level; new
funding for First Nations to enhance and maintain current prevention strategies, and develop
and incorporate suitable rehabilitation and aftercare services; and support to First Nations in
asserting their jurisdiction, laws and policies that take action and reduce or eliminate the
epidemic of drug abuse and trafficking.

The Métis Nation of Ontario has called for self-determination in health supported by
appropriate levels of financial and human resources for Aboriginal-designed, -developed
and -delivered programs and services that respect and promote community responsibility,
autonomy and local control including resources to deal with alcohol-related health
problems.

Recommendation:

The federal and provincial governments provide adequate sustainable funding to


Aboriginal communities in the Rainy River District to address the full continuum of
substance abuse care and to address drug enforcement/control issues.

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Couchiching Band of Ojibwe People, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Whitbeck, Les. B., Yu, Mansoo, Johnson, Kurt D., Hoyt, Dan R. & Walls, Melissa L. Diagnostic
Prevalence Rates From Early Mid-Adolescence Among Indigenous Adolescents: First Results
From A Longitudinal Study. Journal of the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry, 4,
no. 8, August 2008.

World Health Organization. Chapter VIII: The Role of Traditional Healing in the Management of
Substance Abuse. WHO/PSA/93.10 p. 167-194

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Yellow Horse Brave Heart, Dr. Maria. From Intergenerational Trauma to Intergenerational
Healing: Presentation to the Fifth Annual White Bison Wellbriety Conference, April 2005 as
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APPENDICES

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Focus Group Questions

Elders¶ Focus Groups:

1. How are Elders affected by substance abuse issues in the Aboriginal Community?

2. What are the needs of Elders with a substance abuse issues and how can these needs be
met?

3. What is ³FXOWXUDOO\DSSURSULDWH´WUHDWPHQW"

4. What role can Elders play in substance abuse treatment?

Youth Focus Groups:

1. What are the factors that lead Aboriginal Youth to use drugs? Are these factors different for
males versus females?

2. What are the factors that lead Aboriginal Youth to not use drugs? Are these factors different
for males versus females?

3. What are the barriers that prevent Aboriginal youth from seeking treatment for a substance
abuse problem?

4. If Aboriginal youth could develop a substance abuse treatment program specifically for
Aboriginal youth, what would it look like?

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1. What causes Aboriginal women to abuse/misuse drugs and alcohol?

2. How do drugs and substance abuse/misuse by Aboriginal women impact on their lives and
the lives of their families?

3. How can the needs of Aboriginal women with substance abuse/misuse issues be
addressed?

4. What barriers prevent Aboriginal women with substance abuse problems from getting
treatment?

5. How can substance abuse treatment services be improved to meet the needs of Aboriginal
women?

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1. What causes Aboriginal men to abuse/misuse drugs and alcohol?

2. How do drugs and substance abuse/misuse by Aboriginal men impact on their lives and the
lives of their families?

3. How can the needs of Aboriginal men with substance abuse/misuse issues be addressed?

4. What barriers prevent Aboriginal men with substance abuse problems from getting
treatment?

5. How can substance abuse treatment services be improved to meet the needs of Aboriginal
men?

Methadone Focus Group:

1. What factors led to Focus Group SDUWLFLSDQWV¶ GHFLVLRQ WRHQURO in a Methadone Treatment
Program?

2. What are the positive aspects of Methadone Treatment?

3. What are the negative aspects of Methadone Treatment?

4. If participants could design a Methadone Treatment Program, what would that program look
like?

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1. :KDWIDFWRUVOHGWR)RFXV*URXSSDUWLFLSDQWV¶GHFLVLRQWRDWWHQGD6XEVWDQFH$EXVH
Treatment Program?

2. What are the positive aspects of attending Substance Abuse Treatment?

3. What are the negative aspects of attending Substance Abuse Treatment?

4. If participants could design a Substance Abuse Program specifically for Aboriginal people,
what would that program look like?

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Substance Abuse Treatment Services

Treatment Centres/Programs Questions

1. Please provide an overview of your treatment program. (Any written material regarding
your program would also be appreciated.)

2. Please provide us with an overview of the Aboriginal clients accessing your program.
(Demographics; referrals, intake and assessments from Rainy River District; treatment
uptake; retention and withdrawals; discharges; aftercare.)

3. )URP \RXU SHUVSHFWLYH DV VHUYLFH SURYLGHUV KRZ ZRXOG \RX DVVHVV \RXU DJHQF\¶V
competency to provide culturally-appropriate and relevant treatment services to the
Aboriginal population? On what standard or measure do you basis this assessment?

4. From your perspective as service providers, please identify what you see to be
Aboriginal treatment needs and gaps?

5. From your perspective as service providers, what recommendations would you make to
address the Aboriginal treatment needs and gaps you identified?

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SERVICE PROVIDERS FORUM


COUCHICHING BINGO HALL
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2009

AGENDA

9:00 A.M. OPENING PRAYER

INTRODUCTIONS

OPENING REMARKS:

x Welcome & Purpose of Forum

± Ed Yerxa, Coordinator

Treatment and Support Services Project: Couchiching First Nation

PRESENTATION:

x Project History
x Project Structure & Methodology
x Progress to Date

! Cathie Bruyere, Needs Assessment Consultant

QUESTIONS

10:00 A.M. Coffee Break

10:15 A.M. ROUNDTABLE:

Question 1: How do we improve Aboriginal access to substance abuse


treatment services?

11:00 A.M. Question 2: How do we increase Aboriginal participation in the design,


delivery and evaluation of substance abuse treatment services?

LUNCH BREAK Meal Provided

1:00 P.M. Question 3: How do we ensure that substance abuse treatment services are
better suited to meet the needs of Aboriginal people?

2:15 P.M. Coffee Break

2:30 P.M. Question 4: How can we improve the integration of federal and provincial funded
substance abuse treatment services to better meet the needs of Aboriginal
people?

3:30 P.M. ADJOURNMENT

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