The provincial government is taking more steps to help those suffering from addiction. 

B.C has announced that it’s going to invest $16 million to help increase access to treatment and recovery services.

Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy says now is more important than ever to step up our support for those who are struggling with addiction.

“British Columbians are facing two public health emergencies and pressures from COVID-19 have tragically resulted in more lives lost to overdose,” said Darcy.

 “We are working at full speed to stem the tide of these dual crises and connect more people to the treatment and recovery services they need. These new beds will be another step toward building the comprehensive system of mental health and addictions care that British Columbians deserve.”

Of the overall investment, $13.5 million will be put towards increasing the number of treatment and recovery beds throughout the province. 

Because the cost per bed differs based on its location and type of services provided, the province says the funding is estimated to add 50 to 70 new publicly-funded beds over the next three years.

Another $2.5 million will support operators of existing bed-based treatment and recovery services that have been challenged by COVID-19. 

These services have continued throughout the pandemic, but COVID-19 has stretched operating budgets to the limit. The province says this funding will help maintain the quality of care and make sure critical services continue to be available when people need them.

Brenda Plant, chair of the BC Addiction Recovery Association says the move by the province is much needed during the current pandemic situation. 

“The BC Addiction Recovery Association (BCARA) applauds the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions on this significant announcement today. In the midst of two health crises, it is imperative that a range of interventions, including treatment and recovery, be available to those suffering from addiction,” explained Plant. 

“Financial supports for the providers that have continued to operate during the pandemic will ensure that these essential services can continue uninterrupted. Increasing the number of recovery beds in B.C. will help our most vulnerable citizens access treatment and recovery more quickly, reduce wait times and ultimately, save lives.”