Northern B.C. is receiving further addictions treatment and recovery services as part of the province’s $132 million investment.
The Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions announced the funding on Wednesday and provided a snapshot of new and expanded services being implemented across the province over three years.
Multiple communities in the north will receive expanded adult addictions day treatment services as part of the three-year plan, said the Ministry. New peer-support opportunities will also be created to support aftercare following treatment in the Northern Health region.
Prince George will also be getting a new sobering and assessment centre.
“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.
The investment is part of the $500 million highlighted in the 2021 budget for strengthening mental health and addictions care.
“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.”
The Ministry says the investment will create over 65 new or enhanced services, provide more than 130 full-time-equivalent staff and open approximately 195 new substance-use treatment beds.
According to a BC Coroners Service preliminary report released last month, there have been 18 total illicit drug toxicity deaths in the Northern Health region in the first seven months of 2021.
Northern B.C. has recorded 77 drug toxicity deaths this year.