Island Health has introduced 11 intensive treatment beds for men dealing with addiction issues in the Comox Valley. DREAMSTIME PHOTO

Island Health introduces 11 ‘intensive treatment’ addiction recovery beds in the Comox Valley

The repurposed beds serve men living with opioid use disorder and other addictions

Island Health has introduced 11 intensive treatment beds for men dealing with addiction issues in the Comox Valley.

Clients needing longer term, residentially-based addictions treatment services can now access the intensive residential treatment beds at the Comox Valley Recovery Centre.

The repurposed beds – which provide longer stays and more intensive treatment – serve men living with opioid use disorder and other addictions. Clients will receive a higher level of care to support significant addiction challenges than was previously available on Vancouver Island.

Previously, the beds were classified as “supportive recovery” beds.

“The difference [between ‘supportive recovery’ and ‘intensive treatment’] is really, the level of acuity and that people can bring into the service,” said Lisa Murphy, director, mental health and substance use. “As services evolve and through the overdose crisis, the [supportive recovery] beds were no longer the best match with client need. This allows people to come who have higher needs.”

“We need to provide a full spectrum of mental health and addiction treatment options so more people can find the right support to help them find a pathway to hope and healing,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, in an Island Health press release. “These intensive treatment beds allow people to access safe, holistic and lasting care, while remaining near their family, friends and support systems on Vancouver Island.”

The beds at the Comox Valley Recovery Centre will provide intensive treatment services for up to 90 days. Services include a range of clinical and non-clinical counselling and supports, psycho-social recovery education, peer-supported recovery options and self-development opportunities. Treatments and supports are tailored to clients’ individual requirements. The goal is to allow people to focus on recovery in a safe and secure environment so they can return to living a productive and rewarding life.

The beds are available through referral by a healthcare professional.

Women in the Comox Valley have had similar services available for them since August of 2015, through Amethyst House.

RELATED: Amethyst House helps healing happen

Heather Ney, executive director of the Comox Valley Transition Society, which manages Amethyst House, says the beds have had a positive impact on lives in the Comox Valley.

“We do have more stories – and know women – who have been able to maintain their recovery,” she said, of the program’s success. “We also have women who have cycled in and out of the program, but they say that’s the case in situations of recovery. Just like leaving violence – it takes a number of tries sometimes.

“Certainly all reports and evaluations have been very positive in what women have experienced and what they have gotten out of it. Their health has improved. Their mental state has improved. Nutrition, social support within the community… all of those things have improved. So these beds have had a positive impact on women struggling with addiction issues, definitely.”

For more information about the addictions services provided by Island Health, visit viha.ca/mhas/

–With files from Island Health

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