Here's what B.C. is doing to help youth with addictions
Judy Darcy, B.C.'s Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, responds to a question during a news conference in Winnipeg on June 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
VANCOUVER -- The province is investing millions of dollars in an initiative meant to help youth dealing with addictions in British Columbia.
In an announcement Thursday, the province's minister of mental health and addictions says the government has committed $36 million for an increase in treatment beds earmarked for young people.
The money will double the number of beds that currently exist in B.C., Judy Darcy said.
It will add 123 beds for people between the ages of 12 and 24. These spaces will be for youth substance-use treatment and withdrawal management, Darcy said.
It's not yet known which regions the investment will impact. The ministry said locations are being determined in consultation with regional health authorities.
Many of the new spaces are expected in 2022-23, though the first round should be in place by the end of the fiscal year.
"For too long, young people and their families have faced long waits for treatment and a fragmented mental health and addictions system," she said.
Darcy previously announced the opening of a new mental health centre in New Westminster, which has some space for children, teens and young adults.
A report from the B.C. Centre on Substance Use two years ago suggested the province should shift its focus from harm reduction.
In 2018, the centre wrote that the province was focused on addressing the outcomes of untreated addiction and reducing the spread of disease, and was not emphasizing effective recovery treatments.