Fraser Health is unveiling a host of new services to help people addicted to illicit drugs and their families, the health authority announced Wednesday.
The new resources were launched after a survey of nearly 1,200 people found more than half of those using drugs, but not accessing services, would benefit from easy, low-cost ways to get help.
The health region recorded the most overdose-related deaths this year in B.C., with illicit drugs killing 199 people by the end of April. Surrey alone has seen 80 deaths so far this year.
Fraser Health is rolling out a new team that will allow doctors and hospital staff to call a drug-use expert.
The team will operate confidentially, providing information, counselling, and family support, and will help with access to treatment.
The health authority is also expanding its 24/7 crisis line, which will now provide substance use counselling, along with traditional mental health help.
A new weekly education and support group, operated by the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Coast BC, will help parents whose kids are struggling with addictions.
The Sashbear Foundation will also offer a 12-week education program to provide “skill-building support” to family members of someone with mental health and substance use problems.