Naxolone, used to reverse opioid overdoses, is part of Interior Health’s addiction services in harm reduction. (File photo)

Naxolone, used to reverse opioid overdoses, is part of Interior Health’s addiction services in harm reduction. (File photo)

Interior Health offers clarification on addictions services

Inpatient treatment services important part of continuum of care, says IH

Interior Health is defunding Pathways Addictions Resource Centre in Penticton on May 31, but it’s not closing any bed-based substance use services in the region.

A comment made by an Interior Health official about residential treatment not being the best course of action for addiction care caused a flurry of concern and stress from people involved in residential treatment both at the patient and management level.

Pathways executive director Daryl Meyers said their counselling services have sent many people to treatment with successful results for over 20 years for Interior Health (IH). She added that people are concerned that residential treatment across IH would not receive future funding if the belief is that residential treatment is not effective.

The comment even prompted a petition signed by more than 2,500 people claiming how important residential treatment is to keep people out of addictions.

It also prompted letters from people who have been saved by residential treatment, including a young Indigenous woman who is no longer living on the streets of the Downtown Eastside after a recovery bed helped her get off drugs.

IH responded to a concerns about substance use treatment options in Penticton with the following letter:

“Interior Health’s position is that inpatient treatment services are an important part of the overall continuum of care for people living with substance use.

Interior Health recognizes every person’s experience of addiction and recovery is unique, and we offer and support a range of evidence-based treatment approaches tailored to an individual’s specific needs, and this certainly may include inpatient treatment options.

Interior Health recognizes the importance of inpatient, bed-based substance use services where clients receive treatment at a facility with around-the-clock, specialized care and support,” said Interior Health in a statement to Western News.

Recent media stories have raised specific questions from people who are concerned that the number of available treatment beds provided through Interior Health is being reduced in the South Okanagan. We can assure the community that this is not true: IH has not closed bed-based substance use services.”

READ MORE: Harm reduction the focus of addictions services in Penticton

Pathways is not residential treatment.

“The province is working to improve access to [residential treatment services,]” stated IH.

According to the health authority, the B.C. government has invested in more than 100 new beds for adults, 27 of which are in the Interior region. The government will fund 195 new substance use treatment and recovery beds in communities across the province sometime in the future.

If someone wants to continue using, IH can provide harm reduction that includes providing free needles, drug testing. IH also provides opioid therapies, including sublaxone or methadone.

To find bed-based substance use services, individuals can speak with their health care provider, or call the IH mental health and substance use intake number, which is 310-MHSU (6478).

As far as wait times across the region, IH claimed it varies depending on the type of inpatient service someone needs.

“We focus community support through measures such as; counselling, day treatment programs, medication, etc., while people wait,” stated the health authority.

Additionally, residents of the Interior region continue to have access to beds in other parts of B.C. and IH refers clients to those services when their needs cannot be met within IH.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

overdose

Just Posted

The new cases reported over the week of May 2 to 8. (BC CDC)
Weekly COVID-19 cases on the decline in the South Okanagan

Summerland saw its daily cases per capita return to normal levels after a spike

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
Over 42,000 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine given to South Okanagan residents

That includes more than half of the residents in the Penticton local health area

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Police working to identify the two bodies found in Naramata

Expect big police presence in the area this week as the investigation continues

File photo of osprey. Black Press Media
VIDEO: Livestream of osprey birds and their babies in Kelowna

FortisBC sets up a nest with livestream camera in Kelowna for Ospreys

Tinder, an online dating application that allows users to anonymously swipe to like or dislike other’s profiles. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. man granted paternity test to see if Tinder match-up led to a ‘beautiful baby’

The plaintiff is seeking contact with the married woman’s infant who he believes is his child

Susan Larsen, who still lives on her own, celebrates her 100th birthday on May 16, 2021. (Contributed)
99-year-old Vernon woman eagerly awaiting second COVID-19 vaccine

Susan Larsen celebrates her 100th birthday May 16

Nurse Tami Arnold prepares to administer a COVID-19 vaccine. (Kareem Elgazzar/AP)
B.C. adults 30+ now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Health officials made the announcement Wednesday afternoon

Richard Green writes poetry under the nom de plume Rick the Poet Warrior. Homeless, Green sometimes spends his summers in Revelstoke but winters in Victoria, travelling to Ontario to visit his sister whenever he can. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke nomad pens poetry, offers insight into homelessness

Rick the Poet Warrior’s books can be found online as well as at the Revelstoke library

Ancient Forest Alliance campaigner Andrea Inness walks beside an enormous western red cedar stump in a BCTS-issued cutblock in the Nahmint Valley. (PHOTO COURTESY TJ WATT)
Watchdog: logging practices put Vancouver Island old growth, biodiversity at risk

Forest Practices Board has issues with BC Timber Sales practices in Nahmint Valley near Port Alberni

Erik Christian Oun, who worked for the Coquitlam school district, has had his teaching licence suspended for half a year. (Pixabay)
B.C. teacher suspended after calling students ‘cutie’ and ‘sweetheart’ in online messages

Erik Oun’s licence has been suspended for half a year, a decision made by the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation

An Israeli attack helicopter launches flares as he flies over the Israeli Gaza border, southern Israel, Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Singh calls for halt on Canadian arms sales to Israel as violence escalates in region

Government data shows Canada sent $13.7 million in military goods and technology to Israel in 2019

New homes are built in a housing construction development in the west-end of Ottawa on Thursday, May 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Budget’s foreign-homebuyers tax could bring in $509 million over 4 years, PBO says

Liberals are proposing a one per cent tax on vacant homes owned by foreign non-residents

Most Read