The province will have 180 more beds open by summer for people struggling with drug addiction to get help, get clean, and get healthy.
After BC’s worst year yet for drug overdose-related deaths, provincial politicians and health professionals held a press conference this afternoon to announce the beds, which Premier David Eby says will all be open by this summer.
Richard Thompson from Penticton recovered from addiction two years ago at Discovery House. He says more beds are essential because even if people want to get help, they often can’t.
“When you’re ready for help, when you have a moment of clarity, it’s hard to get into places, there’s waitlists,” he says. “You need to get into detox first and there’s waitlists for detox, and there’s a big gap there when you’re ready for help.”
Thompson says once he hit rock-bottom, and started looking for a way out, he found help at Discovery House in Penticton.
“I know if I didn’t get into Discovery House when I did I would be one of those numbers that we were just talking about, those 2,500 people. I was overdosing once a day, twice a day, so I’m lucky to be here, I’m grateful to be here,” he says.
Premier David Eby says no one should have to wait for detox, and more beds will help more people get well.
“There is really only one obvious potential solution to help people stay alive, which is to assist them in rebuilding their lives, and assist them in not using toxic street drugs,” he says. “That’s why we believe it’s so important that we have good treatment and recovery options for people in every corner of the province.”
Nearly 100 of the beds announced today were previously operated privately, they are now being publicly-funded. The rest are new beds made available by finding places in other health facilities. In total, there are now 285 beds in BC for treatment and recovery.
New Treatment Beds in BC
- Vancouver — 12 converted at Salvation Army Harbour Light program
- Powell River — 8 converted at Miklat Rccovery House
- Kelowna — 12 converted at Karis Support Society
- Kelowna — 5 converted at Three Oaks
- Vernon — 15 converted at Bill’s Place
- Penticton — 6 converted at Discovery House
- Sorrento — 23 converted at Red Road Recovery
- Cobble Hill — 16 converted at Cedars