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

Pandemic reunites 2000s era Victoria rock band The Origin

Saanich musicians recording for first time since 2008

Local authors nominated for Victoria Book Prize awards

Finalists for 2020 announced in two categories

Patrick brothers who shaped modern hockey also tried, but failed, to remove violence

New history thesis shows efforts to sell a “clean game” in Oak Bay

Central Saanich to formally inform Agricultural Land Commission about soccer pitch proposal

Move is meant for information only with no application having come forward yet

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Body discovered floating in water near Lasqueti Island

JRCC reports personnel aboard fishing vessel made the find

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Most Read