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

Terrace conservation officers relocate Spirit bear

Bear roamed Kitsumkalum Valley north of Terrace for many years

Seabridge Gold starts drilling along proposed tunnel route north of Stewart

Twin tunnels will connect the KSM mine to its mill and tailings site

Mother grizzly bear with two cubs spotted on Gruchy’s Beach trail near Terrace

Conservation officers also warning public to stay away from Grizzlies on lower Kitimat River

Village of Gingolx upgrading trails, studying campground improvements

Initiative is one of 39 trail and recreation projects to receive provincial funding

Terrace first responders honour late colleague with large procession

Dozens of emergency vehicles drove through Terrace July 7

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Large rogue floating ‘island’ corralled by Lac la Hache residents

At least 60 feet wide, this large mass of plants is free-floating on the lake

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Most Read