NWT launches addictions recovery survey

Health minister Julie Green listens to NWT Covid-19 operations co-lead Scott Robertson at a news conference in January 2021
Health minister Julie Green, left, in January 2021. Pat Kane/National Geographic Society Covid-19 Emergency Fund

The Northwest Territories government is asking residents for input about addictions recovery services in the territory. 

On Monday, the Department of Health and Social Services launched an online addictions recovery survey that asks people living with addictions and their family members about various services’ strengths, weaknesses, barriers and challenges.

The territory says responses will help inform a report on improving the territory’s mental wellness and addictions recovery system. That includes a planned territorial alcohol strategy and discussion of the need for a treatment facility in the NWT. 

Hard copies of the survey are available at local community counselling program offices and treatment facilities.



In October, Monfwi MLA Jackson Lafferty and health minister Julie Green continually butted heads in the Legislative Assembly over the possibility of reopening a northern-based treatment centre. 

While Lafferty pushed for an NWT-based centre on no fewer than five occasions, the minister stood behind the territory’s policy of sending residents to treatment centres in the south. Green said southern institutions can better meet the needs of northerners living with addictions and are more cost-effective. 

The minister said the territory should focus instead on aftercare and other options like on-the-land programs, a managed alcohol program, and a medical detox model. 

Her comments echo those of former health minister Glen Abernethy, who told Cabin Radio in 2019 he believes the NWT should continue sending residents south for treatment and improve aftercare instead.