An additional 73 substance use treatment beds are on the way their way to communities throughout Interior Health.
Mental Health and Substance Use Executive Director David Harrhy says the extra bed significantly support Interior’s Health strategy to shift the system away from hospitals and towards care being provided in a community setting.
“Obviously we’re trying to look at optimizing resources. Services are always better delivered in the community; allows people to have access to everyday issues and everyday events and they’ll have support from their family. So what it should do is reduce the number of people who are seeking out hospital care for detox and or their recovery around substance use.”
Of the 73 beds, 57 will be support recovery beds providing clients a safe, substance-free setting while they await residential treatment, return from residential treatment or transition to a more stable lifestyle.
The remaining 16 beds will be withdrawal management beds supporting adults and youth through the early stages of withdrawal from alcohol and/or other substances.
Harrhy says the exact locations of the beds will be determined through the competitive procurement process.
Four adult withdrawal management beds planned in the Thompson Cariboo will be exempt from the process as they’re expected to be operated by Interior Health.
“We have 121 substance use treatment beds across the region, so to increase it by 73 additional beds in a period of less than a year is quite significant,” says Harrhy.
The beds are part of the province’s commitment to add 500 additional substance use spaces throughout BC by 2017