In A Matter of Trust – How to Revolutionize Substance Use Treatment for Canada’s Cops, journalist Maureen Palmer details the unique challenges police face in front-line positions that can often lead to trauma, coping mechanisms, and ultimately in a large number of cases, substance use dependency or disorder.
According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, over a third of municipal police, and just over half of those in the RCMP, experience mental health challenges, with 29% in the diagnostic range of PTSD. These challenges, along with the stress of shift work and increasing challenges during the pandemic, have led progressive leaders to seek out better mental health supports for officers while working to reduce stigma around mental health and substance use. The article looks at a case study with York Regional Police, which did a pilot program with ALAViDA, resulting in an exponential increase in officers reaching out for help for issues related to substance use.
“If you’ve set up a truly supportive plan for substance use, employees would access it just like they do their physio or dental benefit, with complete confidentiality. Normalizing is key to destigmatizing.”
ALAVIDA, a LifeSpeak Company, is Canada’s first virtual care provider in the substance use space that can guarantee the confidentiality required by those in the workforce, while working to shift the perspective of substance use challenges. According to Elliot Stone, CEO of ALAViDA, “If you’ve set up a truly supportive plan for substance use, employees would access it just like they do their physio or dental benefit, with complete confidentiality. No one knows that I need physio on my back or a filling. Nor should they. And that’s exactly how we should deliver substance use support. Normalizing is key to destigmatizing.”
Click here to read the full feature article in Blue Line Magazine.