A home intrusion was the spark that led Dr. Paul Hergott to create a group that is already changing the landscape addiction in Sault Ste. Marie.
Citizens Helping Addicts and Alcoholics get Treatment was started after Hergott’s house was broken into twice by the same individual. He felt angry and violated and realized there is a need in Sault Ste. Marie for addiction treatment. He believes sick people do bad things but are not bad people.
Hergott’s organization has spoken with a lot of the players in the city about the issue. SAH, the mayor’s office and Ross Romano’s office among many others and they have already affected some change.
During a meeting today with Ross Romano it was said SAH is getting a detox centre. It will be stand-alone and staffed by Registered Nurses and other professionals. The location is currently not known but somewhere outside the downtown core.
“Everyone knows someone who has been affected by drug and alcohol abuse,” said Hergott. Many of these people have never been heard before. People were literally driving up to my house offering to help or asking for help.”
Earlier this year SaultOnline brought you Tia’s story. Her mom Lisa Foggia promised to be a voice and has now joined CHAAT hoping to get the change in the community that she believes is so desperately needed.
Tia was waiting months for space in a treatment centre out of town and died two weeks before her scheduled date, today would have been the day she was home from treatment.
“In a population of 75,000 people in Sault Ste. Marie we have nothing. We are losing people like my child every week because the help did not come fast enough,” said Foggia. “Would we tell a person having a heart attack to go home and wait 4 months for treatment?” she asked.
CHAAT has the goal of being a unified voice of change for the city, bringing together all the people affected by this disease.
Their work is just beginning. Over the next few months, CHAAT will be increasing its efforts to have a functioning Detox, Transition beds, Rehab and After Care in Sault Ste. Marie.
They will be in front of the council on January 11, 2021. They are talking with Romano biweekly and working within the community to affect the change Hergott believes is needed.