VICTORIA, B.C. – People within the province who use substances will now have greater access to ongoing support and health care services. Seven new and nine expanded substance use teams will help people stay connected to health care services and treatment that may be needed.

These new and expanded teams will help to ensure that people who are using substances, as well as access the health care system, are now able to stay connected through a range of care options that can be tailored to their needs.

Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, says that most people who do overdose have had some form of contact with health services leading up to their death. With these new teams it will help to ensure that when someone reaches for help they are not left to fend for themselves.

These teams will also be able to provide services to help prevent overdoses and connect people to ongoing treatment as they work towards wellness and recovery.

Services are unique to the needs in each community and are made up of a wide range of professionals all working together like:

  • outreach workers that bring services to people and help them get connected to services
  • a mix of clinical services and social supports including access to prescribers for safe prescription alternatives to the toxic drug supply
  • support for people during transitions to ensure continuity of care
  • in-reach services to provide even more support for people with substance use challenges residing in supportive housing, like hotels or emergency response centres during COVID-19
  • connections to primary care

This initiative will help to support adults as well as youth and young adults who benefit more from adult services. Depending on the team, people could be connected through self-referral or a referral from a provider.

This initiative will see a $4.27 million in funding for the 2020-21 year to regional health authorities across the province for new and enhanced substance use care.