An open letter to Interior Health supporting access to Residential Treatment

23rd April 2021

Dr. Susan Brown

President & CEO,

Interior Health

505 Doyle Ave, 

Kelowna, British Columbia 

V1Y 0C5

Dear Mrs. Brown,

We write to you today regarding Interior Health’s decision to defund Pathways Addictions Resource Centre in Penticton. As one of Canada’s leading licensed  service providers of Addiction Treatment for individuals affected with substance misuse disorders, we believe that a complete continuum of care for those individuals also includes access to Residential Treatment as an avenue of recovery and complete abstinence from drugs and alcohol.

Dr. Jana Abetkoff, of Interior Health’s clinical operations team believes that residential treatment does not work, claiming evidence supports this. We would like to provide you with evidence that abstinence-based treatment does work. Currently, Together We Can houses over 300 individuals who are currently substance-free, and 95% of our staff, from administration, operations, and even our counsellors are people who are in recovery from addiction, and live a life free from substance use.

Since our humble beginnings in 1993, from a single home on Fairmont Street in Vancouver, we have grown to serve thousands of individuals each year, housed in one of our 27 homes in the lower mainland, and on Vancouver Island. At the end of an individual’s primary treatment journey, we provide transition into one of our Sober Living Residences, where they continue to build Recovery Capital, finding work, volunteering within the community and our society, and accessing continued education, all while building relationships with peers that build social connection and accountability in each other’s lives. Often, as people move on to finding their own path, moving out into their own homes, these connections grow stronger and our alumni often stay connected and come back to guide and engage other individuals as they begin their recovery journey.

Currently, there are more than 300 individuals in our homes alone, who are evidence that Residential treatment works, and that recovery from alcohol and drug addiction is possible. Residential treatment service providers all across Canada have thousands of individuals who have walked through their doors and can attest to their effectiveness. We would like to ask that you continue to fund Pathways Addictions Resource Centre, the only option for residential treatment and recovery in Penticton, and invite you to reconsider your decision by conducting a thorough examination of evidence that contradicts the position of Dr Jana Abetkoff. We invite you to come for a tour of Together We Can, and meet some of the many individuals who are living sober, drug-free lives as a result of completing a Residential Treatment Program.


Stacy Wilson,
Executive Director,
Together We Can

Steven Hall,
Community Relations Manager,
Together We Can

David Penny,
Marketing & Communications Coordinator,
Together We Can

David Penny

David Penny is Together We Can's Marketing and Media coordinator. Learn more about him & read his articles here.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Bev Burgess

    My son recieved treatment at Together We Can and is now four and half years clean and siber ,he regained his family ,had another child so now I have 3 beautiful grandchildren ,he has started his own business and continues to be very involved in the N.A program in hus home town ,I will be forever grateful for the help he recieved ….recovery can and does work …we need more of these places in B.C not less

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