Long-term equitable recovery services needed to manage addiction in B.C.: report


Photo Tomas Nevesely via Shutterstock

The BC Centre on Substance Use is calling for improved addiction-recovery services that would provide equitable access to long-term, quality care regardless of someone’s ability to pay for treatment.

The centre has released a report saying recovery must be recognized as a realistic option for a chronic relapsing disease that can be managed in multiple ways, including at “recovery high schools.”

Marshall Smith, the centre’s senior adviser for recovery services, says he knows from his own experience as a homeless alcoholic hooked on cocaine and methamphetamine that recovery is possible.

He says that while British Columbia’s overdose crisis has been focused on preventing deaths, people also need a well-funded comprehensive system of care because some of them are overdosing multiple times a day.

Smith says the current system provides public, not-for-profit, and high-priced private services that range from great care to hardly any at all.

He says families of those struggling with addiction are complaining about for expensive treatment at facilities that aren’t licensed and should be shut down.