More addicts getting help

Alanna Kelly

An addiction centre in the Okanagan is expanding, providing help to more people.

Adult and Teen Challenge Society of British Columbia announced a coming facility expansion Thursday, on the heels of a growing fentanyl epidemic.

Currently, the location in Lake Country has 18 students and eight staff members. This will grow to four more students, a total of 30 people on site.

“Right now we have lots of applications, most treatment centres in the region are overwhelmed with applicants into their programs, we know there is a crisis going on,” said graduate Mark De Koning.

The expansion will create more bed space for at-risk individuals struggling with addiction in the community.

Helen Jennens, who lost her two sons to addiction, was in attendance.

“They were my children, but believe me when I can say it could be any child,” she said.

De Koning, said it's encouraging to see the expansion.

“I myself, going through addiction, I really struggled, so without a place like Team Challenge I don’t know where I’d be today,” he said.

“To give that opportunity to four more men is incredible,” he said.

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