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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Heart of Our City: Ron Nyce

Teaching, dancing and encouraging culture create the heartbeat of this drummer

Breast cancer screening available in Prince Rupert – ten days only

Mobile imaging suite will be in Prince Rupert from July 6 to 16

RCSCC 7 – Captain Cook is searching for new C.O.

Officer position will be vacant with CIC sailing away to different shores.

Police investigate July 2 homicide in Houston

Man succumbed to injuries at Pearson Road residence

Solidarity movement displayed in city

Prince Rupert locals demonstrated against

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

B.C. homeowners plead for action on condo insurance crisis

Strata property fees growing bigger than mortgage payments

Indigenous man behind complaint of BC Transplant’s alcohol abstinence policy has died

David Dennis, who is Nuu-chah-nulth, argued that six-month sobriety policy is a ‘lethal form of racism’

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Urge travellers to follow COVID-19 rules in a ‘gentle way’: B.C.’s top doctor

Cases surging in the U.S. have B.C. officials hoping the border stays shut all summer

96-year-old woman scales B.C. butte with help of family, friends

‘I did as I was told and I enjoyed every minute of it’

Parallel crises: How COVID-19 exacerbated B.C.’s drug overdose emergency

Part 1: Officials say isolation, toxic drug supply, CERB, contributing to crisis

Canadians with disabilities disproportionately hit by COVID-19 pandemic

More than four out of 10 British Columbians aged 70 and up have various disabilities

Most Read