Finding Treatment Outside Of Canada

Canada’s easily accessible health care that is provided to its citizens, often means long wait times for “non-essential” treatments. When addiction falls under this category, it may be necessary to seek treatment outside Canada in order to fight addiction before it is too late.

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    Why Look For Treatment Outside of Canada?

    2016, over 63,000 Canadians travelled for medical treatment outside of Canada, including addiction treatment, a 40% increase from the previous year. This can be for a number of reasons. Sometimes, a specialist will send a patient out of the country, due to them not having the necessary treatment. For example, Hector Macmillan, Mayor of Trent Hills in Ontario, flew to Germany for an experimental treatment for his terminal pancreatic cancer. More often, however, Canadians are trying to avoid long wait times that have grown abundant in their system.

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    Waiting for Recovery in Canada

    Public facilities in Canada are so over-stretched they have a waitlist. Destiny Bohemier, who was next on the list for a clinic in Manitoba, had to wait nearly a year before she could check in. These excessive wait times across the country seem impossible to manage, as there is no requirement for clinics to come forward and report how long people are waiting. Many who are suffering from addiction know that a lot can happen in a year. Waiting that long, after already coming to terms with needing treatment, can be detrimental to rehabilitation.

    In the meantime, some will go to a detox center but there is a waitlist for those facilities as well. Also, without follow up after detox, many are likely to relapse. Meanwhile, there are large regions, like Ottawa, that don’t have any centers that provide medically-assisted detox. Something that can be found in multiple centers in the US. Medically assisted detox and recovery have been shown to have better results and ensure a better chance of long-term sobriety.

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    Where to Look for Treatment Outside of Canada

    While there are some countries that have great programs for treatment outside of Canada, airfare and board can become costly. Going to the US for rehabilitation, however, can be easier if one’s traveling on a budget or wants loved ones to accompany them. Crossing the border is an easier move that requires less coordination and planning than having to book a flight. On top of that, going to the US for rehabilitation means getting to choose from a wide range of environments for treatment. Whether you prefer beaches, forests, hills, mountains, snow, rain, or sun, clinics with all types of amenities can be found in all types of places with all types of weather. Whether someone is looking for somewhere that will feel more like home or wants a drastic change is up to them, but they can find it in the US.

    The US is lightyears ahead of [Canada] in terms of the treatment of opioid-dependent individuals, the treatment of addiction in general[.] If you can’t get that treatment in Ontario, the government should pay for your treatment where it is readily available.

    - Dr. Mark Ujjainwalla, an addictions specialist, Vice, 2016
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    Going to the US for Rehabilitation

    As A Result Of Long Wait Times To Get Into A Rehab Facility, Increasing Numbers Of Canadians Are Searching For Treatment Outside Of CanadaThe benefit of going to the US for rehabilitation is that one can travel there to receive medical care without any special qualifications. There is no special visa required. As long as one can afford the cost of their clinic and does not stay past 90 consecutive days, they can come and seek treatment as they please. If 90 days isn’t long enough, or a patient is interested in an outpatient program afterwards, applying for a B2 Visa can increase that stay to 6 months.

    If you or someone you love need help with recovery, but don’t have much time or are afraid of what could happen in the meantime, try going to the US for rehabilitation. There are a wide variety of clinics and treatments that anyone can find a good fit. If this step seems overwhelming or you don’t know where to start, try reaching out to a dedicated treatment specialist. They’re here to answer your questions 24/7, no matter where you’re from.

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