New investment of $132 million strengthens B.C.’s system of substance-use treatment, recovery care

A new investment of $132 million in B.C.’s system of substance-use care will build up treatment and recovery services for people who need them in communities throughout B.C., the Province announced on Wednesday.

This investment over the next three years for treatment and recovery services is part of Budget 2021’s historic half-billion-dollar investment to continue building a comprehensive system of mental health and addictions care from the ground up.

“When a person living with addiction is ready to take a step toward recovery, we must ensure services are available when and where they need them,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “We have been busy patching holes where urgently needed over the past four years. Now, through Budget 2021’s historic investment, we are beginning to make true systemic change. B.C.’s $132-million investment in treatment and recovery will result in significant improvements everywhere in the province, making substance-use care more seamless, better integrated and easier to access.”

This funding will increase services across all regions of the province to strengthen the full continuum of substance-use treatment and recovery services, including withdrawal management, transition and assessment, treatment and aftercare services.

To achieve this, the investment will create more than 65 new or enhanced services throughout B.C., add more than 130 full-time-equivalent staff and open approximately 195 new substance-use treatment beds. Precise numbers will be confirmed through request-for-proposals processes. Updates will be provided along the way.

The Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions is working with health authorities on implementation planning for the full suite of enhancements over the next three years. Below is a snapshot of initiatives throughout B.C., with more services to be announced in every region:

Withdrawal management:

* new sobering and assessment centre in Prince George

* new addiction medicine consult team at Burnaby Hospital

* new outpatient withdrawal management services in multiple locations throughout the Interior

* additional funding for withdrawal beds at Vancouver Detox

Transition and assessment:

* new transitional/stabilization beds across Interior Health, ensuring that people receive care planning and connection to treatment after leaving withdrawal management facilities

* enhancing substance-use assessment and/or transition services at Richmond Hospital, Onsite Detox and at St. Paul’s Hospital to ensure people are more easily connected to services and experience more co-ordinated and seamless transitions


* new regional residential treatment beds to support women from the Interior and Island health regions

* expanded adult addictions day treatment services in various communities in the Northern Health region

* extension of the Indigenous-led (Gwa’sala-‘nakwaxda’xw) partnership program for alcohol treatment and recovery in Port Hardy


* new recovery wellness community centres in two locations in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, to help people on their ongoing recovery journey

* new vocational and occupational therapists for Fraser Health’s Adult Day, Evening and Weekend (DEW) program will support people in reaching their substance-use recovery goals through group and one-on-one employment-focused services

* new peer-support initiatives to support ongoing aftercare in locations throughout the Northern Health region

* new peer-led, trauma-informed education program for people with lived and living experience of addiction in the Vancouver Coastal Health Region

These improvements to the treatment and recovery system of care build on recent expansions, including more than 100 new treatment and recovery beds for adults, 123 new youth beds and 20 new youth beds at the Traverse treatment centre in Chilliwack.