Methadone program short resources, says doctor

The medical director of P.E.I.'s methadone program says it needs more resources, so more opioid addicts can get help.

Dr. Don Ling appeared before the standing committee on health, social development and seniors Tuesday. Ling said his group has asked government to expand the program at Prince County Hospital, and he would like to do more work with a special program for young people.

The program also needs more counsellors and nurses doing frontline work, he said. Fifty people are admitted to the program each year, and Ling would like to see more.

"So it'd be nice to do 70 or more a year," he said.

"At Prince County for instance, I would hope if we can change the way we're doing a bit of the business up there, I think I have 91 cases there now, and I'd like to see that grow to 130 or [1]40 over the next year."

There are about 80 people on a waiting list, he said.

Ling told the committee the program has been successful since it started nine years ago. He said 60 per cent of participants are now drug and alcohol free. Many of them now have jobs.