B.C. Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy. (Hansard TV)

B.C. to impose ‘stabilization care’ for youths after overdose

Legislation allows young people to be held for up to a week

A change to B.C.’s Mental Health Act has been proposed to allow young people to be held for immediate treatment for 48 hours after they arrive at hospital with a drug overdose.

The “short-term stabilization care” can be extended up to seven days, Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy told the B.C. legislature June 23.

“Stabilization care under the mental health act is intended to protect youth who present in the hospital emergency department in the midst of an overdose, and to keep them safe in a designated stabilization care facility,” Darcy said. “It will allow provision of medically necessary health care and observation for the youth to recover from their overdose, and will allow them to regain their decision-making capacity, which is diminished in the immediate aftermath of an overdose.”

The legislation comes after B.C. recorded 170 fatal drug overdoses in May, the highest in a single month since the province declared a public health emergency to deal with the influx of potent opioid street drugs.

RELATED: B.C. records most monthly fatal overdoses ever in May

RELATED: People needing addiciton help feel ‘abandoned in pandemic

Darcy said the measure will include “strict conditions” on detaining young people, based on advice from B.C. Children’s Hospital and other health experts. The short-term emergency care will be available at hospitals across the province, she said.

Dr. Tom Warshawski, chair of the B.C. Pediatric Society’s secure care group, said the measure is urgently needed.

“As many as 10 per cent of adults who have a non-fatal opioid overdose die within one year,” Warshowski said in a statement. “Now, with this legislation, clinicians have the legal tool, with safeguards, to help a youth take a pause in their drug use in order to have their medical and mental health needs addressed, reconnect with supports and possibly enter into treatment or, at the very least, be equipped to use drugs safely until such time as they are able to take positive steps toward recovery.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey councillor calls for ward system

‘Surrey is ripe for a ward system now,’ Councillor Doug Elford says

Crescent Beach pier closed due to COVID-19 ‘non-compliance’

City of Surrey closure follows recent reports of crowding

Four Surrey RCMP officers ride to raise cash during abbreviated Cops for Cancer tour

This year, the annual Tour de Valley ride is a combined virtual and team ride from Sept. 21 to 25

OUR VIEW: Surrey train tragedy a safety reminder for us all

Summer typically brings cautionary tales

Airlines dispute Dr. Henry’s claim they ‘very rarely’ give accurate COVID contact tracing info

Air Canada, WestJet say they provide names and contact information

Airborne hot dog strikes Greater Victoria pedestrian

Police called to 4200-block of Quadra Street for hot dog incident

Mission’s 7-Eleven defaced with racist graffiti

Racist insults attacking Indo-Canadians ‘shocked’ manager

B.C. scientist, 63, protests in trees set to be removed for Trans Mountain pipeline

Tim Takaro is reaching new heights as he tries to stall the pipeline expansion project in New Westminster

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Dinosaurs revived for animatronic auction in Langley

More than 500 robot dinosaurs, fossils, and exhibition gear are going on the block Aug. 6

UPDATE: Slow growth for wildfire near Harrison Hot Springs

Fire now burns 12 hectares, grew by 2 hectares overnight

B.C. paramedics responded to a record-breaking 2,700 overdose calls in July

Province pledges $10.5 million for expansion of overdose prevention response

Most Read