Should youth addicted to drugs be forced into care? Family, advocates divided

published on April 10, 2022 by Camille Bains in Vancouver Sun

Families and advocates of youth addicted to illicit drugs are divided over whether minors should be forced into so-called secure care to stabilize them before longer-term voluntary treatment could be provided.

Laws vary across Canada for what amounts to involuntary detox for minors who are sometimes detained through the emergency department following an overdose.

Angie Hamilton, executive director of Families for Addiction Recovery based in Scarborough, Ont., said many youth with a concurrent mental health condition lack the capacity, at least temporarily, to consent to initial care but parents can’t step in on their behalf.

That creates a deeper crisis for families prevented from making potentially life-saving decisions for those who reject treatment, Hamilton said.

“You have to sit around and watch them self-harm, maybe to death.”…

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