Addictions Services putting on mini courses

Jodi Schellenberg
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The Prince Albert Parkland Health Region is giving people more information about addictions and gambling.

Three times each year, PAPHR’s Addiction Services hosts a four-day mini course on addictions and gambling.

“It is basically for anybody who wants to take it but the target audience is those who work with people who want information about alcohol and drugs and those working with people who have alcohol and drug problems and gambling problems,” said Dianne Nielsen, community educator for Addiction Services. “It is called a mini-course because it is only a four-day course but it is sure a smattering of a lot of topics around addiction.”

It discussion what addiction, recovery and relapse mean, what happens to the family in hard times, what are the special needs of youth, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and a number of other topics.

“We cover all those topics and learn how to work with people who are affected with those issues,” Nielsen said.

Since they have many different area discussed within four days, Nielsen said everyone is interested in different topics.

“I do an evaluation after each course and everybody is interested in different segments,” Nielsen said. “I guess where their work is leading them is more where the interests are.

“Some people are really interested in what is going on with family and youth and others want to know more about co-dependency or addictions part,” she added. “How come people get addicted and how come some get addicted and others don’t? We cover everything.”

The course is very popular and is always full, she said.

“A lot of people have taken it,” Nielsen said. “We get people from outside Prince Albert too. Actually, sometimes quite far north, and they come in to take this course.”

Although it is geared towards those who work in different agencies that deal with addictions, Nielsen said it is open to anyone who would like to learn more.

“They come from all sectors, everywhere -- anybody can take it,” she said.

It is also a good time for people from different agencies to network with one another.

“Another benefit is people get to know people from other agencies because they are spending four days together,” Nielsen said. “I would love to just keep doing this course and have more people taking it. Everybody knows something so it is really fun.”

Not only can they learn more about the other agencies, they can also make new friends and talk about things that happen in their own lives.

There are also guest speakers from different groups in the city.

“They keep coming back and I really appreciate what they do,” Nielsen said. “They come in from different agencies to talk and I just thank them.”

They have had people from Canadian Mental Health Association speak about gambling, counsellors throughout the Addictions Services office and hospital workers. Nielsen said there have also been people from Alcohol or Narcotics Anonymous speaking too.

“There is quite a variety,” she said. “Sometimes I get people in recovery to talk about their (experience). They are super.”

Although the February and March courses are full, Nielsen said there are still spaces available in the April course. The course costs $30 and those interested can call Addictions Services at 765-6550 to take course.

Organizations: Addictions Services, Prince Albert, Canadian Mental Health Association

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