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More addictions care coming for people in the Interior

April 16, 2024 at 12:03 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

People living with addiction can better access free treatment and recovery services and closer to home.

“It’s devastating to see so many lives being lost to the toxic-drug crisis,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “When someone makes the brave decision to reach out for help, they deserve to be met with compassionate care where and when they need it. By adding more treatment beds in the Interior, we’re making sure money and distance are no longer a barrier for people on their recovery journey.”

In January 2024, the Province announced a record expansion of treatment and recovery beds throughout the province, including 61 that are open in the following communities throughout the Interior.   

  • Kelowna:
    • Karis Support Society, 12 beds (registered supportive recovery)
    • Options Family Wellness and Addiction Centre, five beds (registered treatment)
  • Penticton:
    • Penticton Recovery Resource Society, six beds (registered supportive recovery)
  • Lumby/Sorrento:
    • Red Road Recovery, 23 beds (registered treatment)
  • Vernon:
    • Turning Points Collaborative Society, 15 beds (registered supportive recovery)

An additional five beds are expected to open this year in Merrit and will be operated by ASK Wellness Society. All 66 beds are administered by the Canadian Mental Health Association – BC Division (CMHA-BC) and are operated by organizations that are licensed or registered with the Province.

These will bring the total number of beds in the Interior Health region to 391.

“Recovery is not just about staying clean from all mind-altering substances,” said Lindsay-Ann Coville, client of Red Road Recovery Ranch. “I will face mental, emotional, physical and spiritual struggles throughout the remainder of my life. Using drugs and alcohol to cope is not the solution to my problems today. With the tools I’ve been gifted by CMHA’s funding, I can stay clean through life’s challenges I may face in the future.” 

To access these new beds, people can refer themselves or be referred by their health-care professional or other organizations. Services include a live-in environment, counselling, medication management and a strong emphasis on community and connection throughout a client’s recovery.

“With an emphasis on integrating lived experiences into care, we strive to ensure that individuals experience person-centred support throughout their journey in treatment and onward into recovery,” said Jonny Morris, CEO, CMHA-BC. “Together, through partnership and collaboration, we aim to expand the reach and breadth of these vital resources, supporting more participants to experience better health and thrive.”

This is one part of the Province’s work to address the toxic-drug crisis and expand treatment options so people can get the care they need, when and where they need it. Budget 2024 builds on Budget 2023’s historic $1-billion investment into mental-health and addictions care, including early intervention and prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery services, complex-care housing, and more, with $215 million to keep B.C.’s mental-health and addiction services operating.

Quotes:

Richard Harding, vice-president, clinical and support services (including the Interior Heath mental-health network), Interior Health

“These new beds mark an important addition to the range of mental-health and substance-use services available in these communities, and build on the important partnerships between Interior Health, the Canadian Mental Health Association and the ministry. Our collective goal is to have services and supports available to meet the needs of individuals living with addiction.”

A client at Red Road Recovery

“In the darkest part of my addiction, I became beyond desperate, overwhelmed and discouraged in my efforts and attempts to find placement in treatment. I began to feel even more hopeless than I already was, as unfortunately paying for treatment out of pocket was not an option for me. My experience thus far at Red Road has been incredibly impactful in the most positive ways.”

Taylor, client, ASK Wellness Society (Kamloops) –

“I have struggled with addiction over a decade. I am beyond grateful that I was given the opportunity to explore a place with so many different recovery pathways that have such culturally diverse support systems. I came to Maverick (a three-phase recovery program operated by the ASK Wellness Society, in conjunction with the Interior Health Authority) with nothing from a very bad situation of homelessness, and now have excelled. Today, I am working for Maverick as a peer employment-support worker.”

A client at Karis Support Society –

“Getting into this recovery program has changed my life by keeping me off the streets after I completed my previous 90-day program. It has given me a connection with my son and a safe place to raise him and build our life together.”

Ryan H., client, Options Family Wellness and Addiction Centre –

“During my stay at Options, I have found that happiness through recovery is possible, once I was able to learn the skills necessary to stay sober long term.”

Marty S., client, Penticton Recovery Resource Society (Discovery House) –

“I am currently a client at Discovery House. When I came into Discovery House, I was spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically bankrupt. After being here for almost four months, I cannot believe the transformation in every aspect of myself. This place has saved my life.”

Quick Facts:

  • There are more than 3,600 publicly funded adult and youth substance-use treatment beds, including 61 CMHA beds in the Interior that are open and serving clients. 
  • Since 2017, approximately 600 new publicly funded substance-use beds have opened in communities throughout the province.
  • Ninety-seven of the 180 beds previously announced have now been implemented.
  • The additional five beds at Ask Wellness will open soon, once final implementation steps are completed.
  • Work to implement the remaining 78 beds is ongoing and expected to be complete by fall 2024.

Learn More:

To learn about the record expansion announcement in January, visit:
https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2024MMHA0015-000334

To learn review the Mental Health and Substance Use Data Snapshot, which provides an overview of the Province’s actions and impact on mental-health and substance-use care, visit: https://helpstartshere.gov.bc.ca/blog/free-or-low-cost-services-bc

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