October 27, 2023

VICTORIA – People with addiction challenges now have better access to treatment and recovery options closer to home, with 40 more publicly funded substance-use treatment beds throughout Vancouver Island.

The beds are located on the south and mid-Island:

“When people make the courageous decision to call for help, they need to be met with quality care close to their home,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “We are expanding access to substance-use treatment beds on Vancouver Island so that people will have options closer to home and get treatment while staying connected to their family and community.”

No-charge access to these treatment beds is supported by $8 million in provincial funding annually. With oversight and referral pathways provided by Island Health, it is estimated these beds will help approximately 200 people access treatment every year.

The treatment beds are part of the public health-care system and they are operated by a mix of for-profit and not-for-profit providers. The beds are available for people in the Island Health region at no cost by referral from a health-care professional. The length of treatment will vary depending on the individual and the program. It can range from 50 to 90 days. Following treatment, people are encouraged to participate in a nine-to-12-month virtual after-care program for continued support in their recovery.

“This represents a significant expansion and investment in substance-use services for clients experiencing dependence on substances including, but not limited to, alcohol or opioids,” said Leah Hollins, board chair, Island Health. “These are the first publicly funded treatment services of this kind on Vancouver Island. Previously, people would have to travel to the Lower Mainland for this level of intensive treatment.”

People looking for information about mental-health and substance-use services, including how to access treatment and referral eligibility, should reach out to Island Health’s mental-health and substance-use service line at 1 888 885-8824.

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