People seeking to end substance addiction will face shorter waiting times for treatment services.

The provincial government says more than 100 spaces for people fighting substance addiction will be funded in 14 organizations in B.C.

There will be 46 new spaces created in existing treatment facilities and more than 50 pay-for-treatment will be converted to fully publicly funded spaces.

Treatment beds are considered important when dealing with substance abuse because they provide a safe living environment during recovery.

The additional beds are expected to reduce waiting times for treatment and help reduce gaps for Indigenous people, women, rural communities, and people leaving corrections facilities.

On Vancouver Island:

  • the John Howard Society in Nanaimo is getting funding for 15 new addiction treatment beds;
  • the Edgewood Treatment Centre in Nanaimo will be funded for five spots;
  • the Comox Valley Transition Society is receiving funding for two beds;
  • the Port Alberni Shelter Society will receive funding for six beds.

Joel Hughes of the Edgewood Treatment Centre says the additional funding “will provide the necessary treatment for so many at a very crucial time and will most definitely save lives and help put families back together.”

Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson says the over 100 beds are more than the 50 to 70 beds discussed last summer.

Malcolmson says, “there’s more to do, but we are working hard to build up a strong system of addictions and mental health care.”

The $13-Million is being administered through the Canadian Mental Health Association.