Addiction services of Thames Valley: Here to help

Those suffering from an addiction or who know someone who may be dealing with one may be faced with the daunting task of trying to figure out where to get help, where to take the next step.

Addiction Services of Thames Valley is a good place to start. They have various substance abuse programs for both adults and youth, like Back on Track for impaired driving, said Pam Hill, Manager of Programs and Clinical Services — a program that helps mothers with substance abuse problems.

Facing an addiction can be difficult, but at ADSTV, individuals will find a welcome and non-judgmental environment, explained Hill.

"We don't tell people what to do (we) focus on their strengths," she said. "We don't focus on labels like 'addict' or 'alcoholic.'"

Whatever an individual's situation, ADSTV aims to find a way to help them by giving them information and encouragement to make a change.

"Whatever it takes to empower people to make their own choices," said Hill. "(It's about) building an alliance with the client."

The office is located at 200 Queens Ave., Suite 260. Walk-ins are welcome on Monday or Thursday afternoons. Bringing a support person, such as a parent or friend, is allowed. There will be a brief form to fill out and then a meeting with a counsellor to ensure you're in the right place. Depending on the severity of a case, an individual may be referred elsewhere.

If you are not referred somewhere else, it's likely you'll be put into an assessment group. There, individuals complete a series of self-administered standardized tools to establish how they feel about their addiction and their ability to cope with it.

Eventually you'll be given an appointment to come back for a one-on-one counseling session. Individuals can also attend Supportive Information Sessions that run Monday to Thursday mornings and Friday afternoons. These group sessions give members information about a variety of topics from depression, community resources, coping with anxiety and dealing with stress.

For more information on the specific programs offered by Addiction Services of Thames Valley, visit