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Addressing Substance Use Through Compassion and Collaboration

The MOAT Team (L-R) Paul, Ethyl, Nick

Detox and addiction treatment is an important piece of the wrap around service that Boyle Street Community Services employ when working with a client struggling with substance use. Like many of our systems, however, gaining accessing to these programs can be extremely difficult; exponentially so if you are experiencing poverty or homelessness.

The Mobile Outreach Addictions Team (MOAT) is a dedicated and hard-working team made up of Paul, Ethyl and Nick.

One of six MOAT teams across the province, MOAT’s mandate is:

To assist and support clients who wish to access information about, and/or participation in addictions detox and treatment programs.

They also provide harm reduction informed addiction management strategies to clients. Each of the team members fulfills this mandate with compassion and collaborate support, drawing on their experiences and expertise.

Part of MOAT’s success with engaging individuals in the inner city is their mobile component.

By mobile component, we mean that workers can physically meet people where they are at, engaging with individuals in various locations around Edmonton, as well as other hard-to-reach areas such as the river valley and parkland.

Mobile component also refers to the team’s patience and flexibility in being there for people no matter where they are at in their journey with substance use. They accept and support their clients in the good days, and the challenging ones – this is where you really see MOAT live the Boyle Street value of “we never give up, even if the challenge is tough, seemingly impossible.”

“We never give up, even if the challenge is tough, seemingly impossible.”

Some of the specific supports MOAT helps clients to connect with are:

  • Detox: typically, a seven-day process where a person can safely experience substance withdrawal symptoms in a supervised environment.

  • Treatment: either out-patience or in-house programs lasting between 18 to 90 days, primarily working on a person’s psychological state and wellness.