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B.C. adds $36 million to create 123 addiction treatment beds for youth

BY , Aug 14, 2020 1:30 AM - REPORT AN ERROR

The British Columbia government says it is committing $36 million over nearly three years to fund more addiction treatment space for youth.

Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy says the investment will add 123 new treatment beds and more than double the current number of spaces available for youth aged 12 to 24.

The province and local health authorities are discussing where the spaces should be located, but Darcy says some could be available within the next few months.

The beds will form part of a continuum of care that Darcy says will include withdrawal management and detox spaces, residential recovery and specialized care such as psychiatric nursing and support.

She says even though the majority of British Columbians dying from illicit drug use are not young people, it's absolutely critical to provide help for youth when they are ``less entrenched'' in addictive behaviour.

Darcy says 60 young people died in B.C. between January and June while using fentanyl-laced illicit drugs, but youth battling all types of drug or alcohol addiction are eligible for the new beds.

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