Young adults living with addictions in British Columbia will have access to more treatment and recovery services, with the opening of new substance-use beds in Surrey and Vancouver.
The Province has added 24 new substance-use treatment beds – 18 at the Phoenix Society in Surrey and six at the Covenant House in Vancouver – to help more young people connect to life-saving services and supports.
“The well-being of our children and youth is our top priority – every young person in British Columbia deserves access to the addiction services that meet their unique needs,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “These new addictions treatment beds in Surrey and Vancouver will help more young people and their families get the supports they need and deserve.”
The beds at the Phoenix Society opened in May to serve men from throughout the province between the ages of 17 and 24 with severe and high-risk substance-use challenges who may also have moderate mental health-care needs for an average stay of three to six months. These beds are free for patients and offer wraparound supports, including stabilization, intensive treatment, and after-care services to support people with safe and successful transitions back to the community after treatment.
“These 18 beds will help meet a need for young men aged 17 to 24 who are disproportionately affected by the toxic drug crisis,” said Susan Wannamaker, executive vice-president, clinical service delivery, Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA). “The beds at this location are for older youth and young men who require higher intensity substance-use care beyond what is available in their regional health authority. Our thanks to the provincial government and our partners at the Phoenix Society and regional health authorities for their collaboration and support.”
The six beds at Covenant House will serve youth and young adults ages 16 to 24 living in Vancouver, including youth who are experiencing homelessness. An additional bed will be publicly offered to patients at no additional charge by Covenant House with oversight from Vancouver Coastal Health. The length of stay in these beds will vary depending on patient needs. Vancouver Coastal Health is accepting referrals from health-care providers for the beds. Services will begin by the end of June.
“Youth who use substances have unique care needs that should be individualized, accessible and non-judgmental,” said Dr. Patricia Daly, chief medical health officer and vice-president of public health at Vancouver Coastal Health. “We are pleased to announce this new partnership with Covenant House to expand the availability of youth-centric services for young people who use substances in Vancouver.”
Enhancing supports for young people living with mental-health and addictions challenges is an integral part of building a comprehensive system of mental-health and addictions care for British Columbians.
Learn about youth mental-health and substance-use supports: https://www.wellbeing.gov.bc.ca/blog/youth-mental-health-and-substance-use
Learn about youth substance-use beds: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/about-the-bc-government/mental-health-and-addictions-strategy/youth-substance-use-beds
A backgrounder follows.