Reopening of Simcoe detox centre ‘long overdue’

·2 min read

Treatment for drug addiction will resume at Holmes House after the Simcoe detox centre announced it would reopen on Sept. 5.

The centre has been closed for more than six months due to a staffing shortage.

“We are thrilled to announce that our withdrawal-management program is reopening,” Holmes House manager Samantha Devereaux said in a press release.

“The staff at Holmes House wants to extend a huge thank you to our clients, volunteers, and community members for their ongoing support and understanding during our temporary reduction of services.”

Devereaux said staff members took part in training during the closure to better provide withdrawal management to clients. Holmes House’s 21-day drug treatment program will also return to the 12-bed facility after moving off-site during the pandemic.

Simcoe resident Chris Morrison, who credits his time in treatment at Holmes House with saving his life, told The Spectator the reopening is “long overdue.”

“A shutdown of just over six months has been way too long,” said Morrison, who remains active in Simcoe’s addiction recovery community.

“This has been a very crucial, yet missing link for those in addiction seeking to enter detox and having the barrier of having to travel out of region.”

In a previous interview, Morrison said he drove someone to Hamilton in search of detox services in February after that person had been forced to leave Holmes House due to the closure.

“I am hoping that the reasons for the closure have been fully addressed and that this will not happen again,” Morrison said.

“Way too many people rely on this critical service to be there when needed.”

Holmes House is administered by Norfolk General Hospital in Simcoe. Hospital spokesperson Aaron Gautreau did not reply to questions from The Spectator about the current staffing level at Holmes House and whether staff would be contacting past patients about resuming their treatment.

In the press release, hospital vice-president Kim Mullins committed to keeping the doors open at Holmes House so people in the community can get the detox help they need.

“We know the issues surrounding mental health and substance use are impacting the health and well-being of our residents, now more than ever,” Mullins said.

“I would like to thank the Holmes House staff who have overcome many challenges in preparing to reopen this service so they can support this area of need, which I know will help clients with substance use disorders on their road to recovery.”

J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator