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10 youth substance abuse recovery beds headed to Kelowna

Inpatient treatment beds provide a short-term “live in” environment with daily programming to address the underlying causes of a person’s substance use.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/THE BRIDGE
March 03, 2021 - 11:10 AM

KELOWNA - A contract for 10 substance use treatment beds for youth has been awarded to Kelowna’s Bridge Youth & Family Services Society, Interior Health announced today. 

The new beds will open this spring as the provincial government embarks on its effort to double the number of youth substance use beds available in B.C.
 
“Interior Health is pleased to work with The Bridge Youth & Family Services Society to bring these vital services to Kelowna,” said Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health in a press release issued today, March 3. “With these new beds, young people will be able to access high-quality inpatient treatment closer to home.”
 
Inpatient treatment beds provide a short-term “live in” environment with daily programming to address the underlying causes of a person’s substance use.

On Aug.13, 2020, the province announced it would be doubling youth substance use beds throughout B.C. The Ministry of Health and Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions committed to implementing 123 new beds across the province as part of the 10-year strategy Pathway to Hope.

Drug overdose deaths are at a record high.

Yesterday, the coroner's office said an average of 5.3 lives were lost each day in January due to the toxic drug supply in B.C., a death rate of 38.1 per 100,000 residents. January is also the 10th consecutive month in which more than 100 deaths were attributed to suspected illicit drug toxicity.

Almost one in five of the suspected deaths (18%) in January noted extreme levels of fentanyl concentrations (greater than 50 micrograms/litre), the largest number recorded to date. Additionally, there were 14 deaths in which carfentanil, a more lethal analogue of fentanyl, was detected, an increase from the December total of nine and the largest monthly figure since May 2019.

The report also notes recent increases in the presence of unprescribed benzodiazepines and its analogues, including etizolam. Since July 2020, etizolam has been identified in 31% of illicit drug toxicity deaths where expedited testing was performed. In January, benzodiazepines and its analogues were detected in nearly half (49%) of all samples tested. The addition of etizolam to fentanyl increases the likelihood of overdose due to the combined respiratory depressant effects. Etizolam is not licensed in Canada.


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