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Overdose support for youth increasing

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 11:03 PDT, Tue June 23, 2020

BC’s mental health act is being amended to further support youth under age 19 who are experiencing severe problematic substance use.

Changes will provide short-term involuntary emergency stabilization care—at hospitals—following an overdose.

“This is a new and much needed tool in our toolbox to help youth with severe substance use challenges and their families,” said Judy Darcy, minister of mental health and addictions. “Experts are telling us this emergency measure is vital to ensure the immediate safety of young people in crisis.”  

Youth living with severe problematic substance use who are admitted to a hospital following a life-threatening overdose can be admitted for stabilization care for up to 48 hours or until their decision-making capacity is restored, for a maximum of seven days. This short-term emergency care will be provided at hospitals throughout the province where there is an existing designated psychiatric unit or observation unit.

Following the period of stabilization care, youth will be connected to supports and services in the community.  

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