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Province to fund a sobering and assessment centre in Prince George

Services in Prince George, Northern Health included in B.C.’s substance-use funding announcement
Sheila Malcolmson
Sheila Malcomson, Minister of Health and Addictions at the Oct. 13 funding announcement in Vancouver.

The province has announced a new investment in B.C.’s system of substance-use care which includes a sobering and assessment centre in Prince George.

The province announced today (Oct. 12) $132-million investment over the next three years for treatment and recovery to build a comprehensive system of mental health and addictions care from the ground up.

“When a person living with addiction is ready to take a step toward recovery, we must ensure services are available when and where they need them,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.

“We have been busy patching holes where urgently needed over the past four years. Now, through Budget 2021’s historic investment, we are beginning to make true systemic change. B.C.’s $132-million investment in treatment and recovery will result in significant improvements everywhere in the province, making substance-use care more seamless, better integrated and easier to access.”

Macolmson said this funding will increase services across all regions of the province to strengthen the full continuum of substance-use treatment and recovery services.

It will create more than 65 new or enhanced services throughout B.C., add more than 130 full-time-equivalent staff and open approximately 195 new substance-use treatment beds. Precise numbers will be confirmed through request-for-proposals processes.

The funding includes services in withdrawal management, transition and assessment, treatment and aftercare.

The province says this includes a new sobering and assessment centre in Prince George, expanded adult addictions day treatment services in various communities in the Northern Health region, and new peer-support initiatives to support ongoing aftercare in locations throughout the Northern Health region.

“This funding will strengthen the continuity of care and reduce gaps for those in need,” said Cathy Ulrich, CEO of Northern Health.

“We appreciate the collaborative approach being taken to better respond to people experiencing mental-health or substance-use challenges, and look forward to working with all our partners to create timely connections to appropriate services.”

The province says improvements to the treatment and recovery system of care build on recent expansions, including more than 100 new treatment and recovery beds for adults, 123 new youth beds and 20 new youth beds at the Traverse treatment centre in Chilliwack.