Written by Dr. Victoria Lee, Chief Medical Health Officer and Vice President, Population and Public Health

147 new substance use treatment beds now open in Fraser East, Fraser North and Fraser South as well as expanded substance use services in Abbotsford and Chilliwack.

The new beds fulfill the remainder of our 147-bed contribution to the 500 new substance use treatment beds committed by Premier Christy Clark.

In Abbotsford, a new nurse practitioner, social worker and community outreach nurse will help people with substance use problems that are not currently attached to substance use services and may have multiple barriers to doing so. In collaboration with existing non-clinical outreach and social services, these new services will provide intensive support and stabilization to people with complex challenges related to health, housing, poverty, and other barriers, move people toward recovery from substance dependence, and link people to housing and treatment.

In Chilliwack, new community outreach nurses will enable Chilliwack’s outreach team to provide services seven days per week, 12 hours per day. The expanded outreach team will provide services to people with serious mental health or substance use problems that require intensive outreach. In addition, they will work with Chilliwack General Hospital’s emergency department and inpatient units to identify patients with substance use needs who can be safely discharged and be better served in a community setting. We have focused on increasing treatment services as a component of Fraser Health’s comprehensive overdose prevention and response strategy.

These new substance use treatment beds and enhanced services in two of our communities will help support a person to begin the road to recovery. These beds and services align with our commitment to improving treatment services, and complement investments in opioid treatment medications and intensive case management teams that have been announced over the past year. Efforts to address the public health emergency in the region continue to move forward, and we continue to partner with our communities to address the overdose crisis in our region.

Read the full news release.

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