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At-home addictions support and detox program making a difference

Options Community Services runs the home-based addictions support and detox program
Tanya Blize said she is proud of herself and the work she has done in the program. (Submited photo // Photo: City of Surrey)

April 2024 will mark the one-year anniversary of the home-based addiction support and detox program run by Options Community Services.

The withdrawal management detox allows the individual to go through the program in the comfort and safety of their own home, with the support of a team of health care and support workers supporting the client.

Tanya Blize, who started the program almost two months ago, said there are so many benefits to the program, like being able to be at home with her kids.

While an inpatient detox centre might be right option for some, Blize said it was not for her.

“I’m afraid of hospitals and I felt like going to detox would be like being in the hospital and that made me anxious and scared,” she said. “I just felt safer at home. It didn’t seem so intense, (it’s) less scary.”

A support worker from a Fraser Health program told the Surrey resident about the program. From there Blize reached out to Options.

“Every single person has been so kind and helpful, knowledgeable and more supportive than I expected,” Blize said. “And kind of like my family now, they’re like my besties,” she added.

Blize said she is proud of herself and the work she has done in the program.

Home detox program manager Brittany Atkinson said the program “successfully detoxed about 100 people” in its first year. The majority of those were working males “who don’t really want to go away for treatment, so doing it at home is kind of easier and more convenient for them.”

Atkinson said one of the main reasons why the program has been so successful is that it is done at the environmental level in their clients home.

The program can be especially important for individuals struggling with substance use in the South Asian community, where addiction and substance use are highly stigmatized. People in this community are known to minimize how much they use.

Between 2015 and 2018, Fraser Health reported a 255 per cent increase in overdose deaths for the South Asian population.

Options has many staff members who speak Punjabi and Hindi, so they are able to help clients through the withdrawal process and offer after-care support counselling in their mother tongue.

“We go directly to the client to their home to help reduce the stigma,” Atkinson added. She was surprised by how many people were affected by the stigma of going to a treatment centre or not wanting friends or family to know.

The program helps individuals in Surrey, Langley, White Rock and Delta.

“We come in (their homes) and we sit with them and work with them at their pace and if they relapse we can help them back through the program,” she said.

“We work with the client to do a short-term medical detox, and then six months of relapse prevention work and then transition them back to their family care providers,” Atkinson said.

Health Canada is funding the program until 2025, after which Options hopes to find additional funding.

Atkinson said the detox, counselling services, and medications are all free, even for clients who don’t have a health care number, like newcomers to Canada.

READ MORE: Let’s reframe how we view substance use and addiction, says Options Community Services

On Monday (March 25), Atkinson and Options are hosting a free community connections event to discuss substance use.

“My goal of that was kind of to bring together all different service providers in substance use and to be able to come together and share resources and how we can better work together,” Atkinson said. The event is open to the public as well. Tickets for the event can be found on Eventbrite.

To learn more about the program visit

Anna Burns

About the Author: Anna Burns

I started with Black Press Media in the fall of 2022 as a multimedia journalist after finishing my practicum at the Surrey Now-Leader.
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