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Nanaimo getting four new addictions treatment beds

B.C. government announces substance-use treatment supports in Nanaimo, Oceanside, Tofino-Ucluelet
Sheila Malcolmson, B.C. minister of mental health and addictions, speaks at a recent federal election campaign event in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)

The B.C. government is looking to partner with agencies to offer new substance-use recovery beds on Vancouver Island.

The B.C. Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions announced Oct. 4 that Island Health has issued requests for proposals for service providers to operate eight “sobering and assessment beds” in Nanaimo, four of which would be new to the community. Island Health is also looking for partner agencies for up to eight supportive recovery beds in Parksville-Qualicum and at least six sobering and assessment beds in Tofino-Ucluelet.

The ministry, in a press release, said the services will “increase the access points” for people with addictions to receive support and treatment. Sobering and assessment beds allow stays of up to 23 hours a day for people, with services such us health assessment and support and food and laundry. Supportive recovery beds are substance-free spaces allowing stays up to 90 days, with services that include counselling, case management and community re-integration support.

“When people come forward for help with substance use, we want health care for them without delay,” said Sheila Malcolmson, B.C. minister of mental health and addictions, in the release, adding that the new services can be transformative.

Leah Hollins, Island Health board chairperson, said in the release that the health authority is grateful to the individuals, organizations and communities that have informed and supported the process of adding the new substance-use treatment services.

“These new programs will improve access for people living with substance use and enhance the range of services and treatments to support their personal path to wellness,” said Hollins.

The province anticipates the services being in place by the start of spring.

READ ALSO: 184 people died of illicit drug overdoses in July in B.C.’s 2nd deadliest month on record

READ ALSO: Community members grieve those who have died of overdose, call for harm reduction

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