B.C. boosts funding for substance use outreach teams, amid overdose crisis

published on July 14, 2020 by Rob Shaw in Vancouver Sun

VICTORIA — B.C. is boosting the number of substance use teams that combine nurses, counsellors, social workers and outreach staff to help those suffering from addictions.

Mental Health Minister Judy Darcy announced Monday $4.27 million in new permanent annual funding to create seven new integrated addictions teams, and expand nine existing teams.

“We know that four out of five that overdose have had a connection with the health care system the year before they died,” said Darcy.

“That’s a very high number. But then the system lost track of them, they didn’t continue to support them. So the idea of these substance use integrated teams is they would be teams of health care providers, nurses, social workers, Indigenous support workers, peers, a variety, and their goal is to connect people to treatment.”

The new and enhanced teams will be in 16 communities, and run by local health authorities. Darcy said the goal is to address gaps in the existing system, whether that be in helping people connect to services, addressing their housing concerns during COVID-19 or help them access safe prescription alternatives to contaminated illegal street drugs during the ongoing overdose crisis…

View the full article