GET 1-ON-1
PRIVATE
CONFIDENTIAL
HELP NOW
Read More

Alcohol Treatment & Drug Rehab Programs: British Columbia

sunshine coast health care center

British Columbia Alcohol and Drug Services

For your convenience, listings are provided by type of service, geographic region or major city. Please note that some of the listings below are located on our sister website, www.canadadrugrehab.ca.

Listings by Type of Service

Outpatient - Government or Contracted Agencies
Outpatient - Private Practice Therapists
Medical Services
Mutual Support Meetings (AA, NA, Al-Anon, etc.)
Residential Services

Listings by Geographic Region

Fraser Valley
Interior BC
Northern BC
Vancouver Coastal
Vancouver Island

Listings by City

Vancouver

Victoria

The Provision of Publicly Funded Mental Health & Addiction Services in British Columbia

Publicly funded mental health and addiction services in BC are either direct services of the provincial government, the federal government, or contracted agencies that are wholly- or partially-funded by the government.

Typically, adults with addiction or concurrent mental/health addictions are referred to Mental Health & Addictions which is a Ministry of Health program. Youth with mental health or concurrent mental health/addiction issues are referred to Child and Youth Mental Health (CYMH) which is a service of the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD). Youth with addictions, depending on the community, are often referred to contracted agencies funded by Mental Health & Addictions. Native adults and youth are typically referred to National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs (NNADAP) funded by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.

Contracted agencies provide services in many communities across British Columbia regardless of age (youth or adult) or disorder (addiction, mental health, or concurrent mental health/addictions).

Many of these programs offer services for substance-affected family members in addition to the individual. Furthermore, NNADAP programs may also accept non-Native Canadians, particularly in smaller, isolated communities.

The integration of mental health and addiction services has been an ongoing initiative for the provincial government of British Columbia. Programs included in this section often cross-refer individuals with concurrent mental health/addiction issues depending on the primary diagnosis and availability of services. In other words, agencies typically have an "open-door" policy that allows for admission, assessment and, eventually, referral to other government programs for treatment.

Please note that programs that are exclusively mental health and do not treat concurrent mental health/addiction issues are not included in this listing.

Finally, individuals requiring services are recommended to call ahead as intake hours for new clients may vary.

Service Boundaries in British Columbia by Age

Typically, youth services are for ages 13 to 18, however, some youth programs also serve young adults up to 24 years of age. Adult services in British Columbia are for ages 19 and older. In certain communities, adults 55 and older have their own programs.

Service Boundaries in British Columbia by Geography

The responsibility of delivering adult mental health and addiction services and youth addiction services in British Columbia are administered on a geographic basis by five Regional Health Authorities: Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA), Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCHA), Interior Health Authority, Northern Health Authority, and Fraser Health Authority (see map).

Due to its large population base, adult mental health and addiction services and youth addiction services in Vancouver and Richmond are administered on a geographic basis by seven Community Health Areas: City Centre, Mid-East, Northeast, Westside, Midtown, South Van, and Richmond (see map).

Main Referral Phone Lines for Publicly Funded Mental Health or Addiction Services in British Columbia

For referrals to publicly funded alcohol and drug services in BC call the Alcohol and Drug Information and Referral Service at phone (604) 660-9382 (Vancouver and the Lower Mainland) or toll-free

1(800) 663-1441 (rest of the province). Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For referrals to publicly funded problem gambling services in BC call the Problem Gambling Help Line toll-free 1(888) 795-6111.

For referrals to publicly funded mental health services in BC call the BC Mental Health Services Line at phone (604) 669-7600 (Vancouver and the Lower Mainland) or toll-free 1(800) 661-2121. Alternatively, visit the website at www.heretohelp.bc.ca. This service is administered by BC Partners for Mental Health & Addictions. Hours are 9:00 to 4:00 pm Monday to Friday (leave a voicemail after hours).

Please note that this directory lists addiction programs specific to drugs and alcohol only although some eating disorder services provided by government mental health agencies are also listed.
To locate a private or publicly funded gambling, sex, eating disorder or alcohol and drug service program anywhere in Canada visit www.canadadrugrehab.ca.

Brief Descriptions of Alcohol and Drug Services Available in British Columbia

The right program for individuals with addiction or concurrent mental health/addiction issues depends on the needs of the individual.

Detoxification (detox): a medical service designed to stabilize individuals who have consumed mood-altering substances to excess. Sudden cessation of alcohol or drugs in people who have consumed on a regular basis can lead to withdrawal. Since withdrawal can result in potentially life-threatening medical complications, around the clock monitoring by trained personnel is recommended. The length of stay in detox varies but is typically less than three days. Longer stays in detox may be required if opioids or alcohol are involved or if there are other medical conditions. During detox, little or no counselling is provided to the client.

Outpatient treatment: a counselling service offered once or twice a week with, typically, one to three hours per session. Number of sessions may vary depending on  the client’s progress. Outpatient therapy can be one-on-one or in groups. A form of outpatient treatment called “continuing care” or “aftercare” is often utilized following completion of residential treatment. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) typically provide outpatient counselling as part of their service package.

Day treatment: a type of outpatient counselling service typically offered 3 to 8 hours per day, several days (or nights) per week for several weeks. Day treatment is an alternative to residential treatment since the client returns home after treatment. Day treatment is also an alternative to standard outpatient treatment since it is more intensive and of shorter duration.

Residential (or inpatient) treatment: sometimes referred to as primary treatment, this service is necessary when substance use has progressed to dependence. Residential programs provide around the clock supervision, group and individual therapy, education, meals, and accommodation. Facilities that provide residential treatment may also provide detoxification services.

Sober (or transitional) living: a less-intensive residential service that is typically a minimum of 60 days in duration but can last as long as two years. Sober living is provided to clients who have completed residential treatment but require a greater level of support than what is available at home. The amount of time allocated to actual therapy, level of supervision, and qualifications of staff varies but is generally less than residential treatment. Clients may or may not be permitted to work while in sober living.

Mutual support groups: peer-run groups provided at no or little cost to participants. Better known mutual support groups include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or Al-Anon/Alateen.

Private Practice Therapists in British Columbia

Sources of Data for Private Practice Therapists

Contact and descriptive information for the fee-for service practitioners listed in this section have been obtained by both print and online sources. Whenever possible, data was obtained directly from practitioner websites. If practitioner websites were not available then practitioners were contacted directly by email or telephone correspondence.

Criteria for Inclusion

Fee-for-service practitioners included in this listing have indicated, through their listings on various professional certification websites, that their practice accepts individuals with alcohol and drug issues. Other criteria such as amount of direct addiction treatment experience, level of formal chemical dependency training, or the effectiveness of their preferred clinical approaches and techniques has not been considered.

Readers are recommended to contact practitioners directly for further information.

Medical Services in British Columbia

Medical services in this directory treat the physical aspects alcohol and drug misuse or addiction. Programs can include primary care, withdrawal management (detox), addiction medicine, medical monitoring and harm reduction programs such as methadone maintenance. For listings in British Columbia see BC Medical Detoxification Services

Withdrawal Management Services (Detox)

Withdrawal management services are designed to stabilize individuals who have consumed mood-altering substances to toxic levels. Since going “cold turkey” from alcohol or drugs can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms and can result in potentially life-threatening medical complications, around the clock supervision by trained medical staff is recommended.

The length of stay in an alcohol and drug detox program varies but is typically less than 3 days. Longer stays in detox may be required if opioids or alcohol are involved or if there are other medical conditions. During detox, little or no counselling is provided to the client.

Detox programs can be one of five varieties:
1. home detox (or daytox) − detoxification done at home which may include a visit from a nurse
2. social (non-medical) detox − detoxification provided in a residential setting but without the assistance of a nurse or physician (*)
3. medical detox − detoxification provided in a residential setting with the assistance of a nurse and physician. May be combined with residential treatment or as a separate service.
4. hospital detox − medical detoxification provided in an inpatient (hospital) setting
5. rapid detox − detox performed under anaesthesia by an addiction medicine specialist on an outpatient basis. Performed on individuals requiring opiate detoxification. This program is not covered by provincial insurance.

For access to publicly funded medical or hospital detox please check the following listings:
• Fraser Health Authority: Chilliwack and Surrey
• Interior Health Authority: Kamloops, Kelowna and Nakusp
• Northern Health Authority: Prince George
• Vancouver Coastal Health Authority: Vancouver
• Vancouver Island Health Authority: Nanaimo, Victoria

Some residential treatment centers (particularly private centers) provide detox as a means of facilitating an admission to their residential program. Patients may not be able to access these detox beds without agreeing to stay for residential treatment (typically 4 to 7 weeks). See the Residential Services section for more information.

(*) Note: technically, social detox is not actually a medical service since medical personnel do not monitor the patient.

Methadone Maintenance Therapy in BC

Physicians
In British Columbia, physicians require special authorization to prescribe methadone for those struggling with opiate addiction or chronic pain.* According to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC 2005 annual report, there are 299 methadone maintenance program prescribing physicians in British Columbia. Of these physicians, 51 percent practice in the Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley area, 22% on Vancouver Island, 23% in the Interior and 4% in Northern BC.

(*) Note: physicians prescribing methadone for pain require a separate certification.

Pharmacies
As of June 2006, 477 pharmacies (52% of all BC pharmacies) dispense methadone. Of these pharmacies, 56% are located in the Lower Mainland area, 20% on Vancouver Island and 24% reside in other BC regions. For a list of methadone pharmacies visit www.bcpharmacists.org or contact Mary McLelland, Quality Outcomes Specialist, at the College of Pharmacists of BC, phone (604) 676-4226 or toll-free 1(866) 676-4226.

Source: Methadone Maintenance Program Overview (July 2006) College of Pharmacists of British Columbia.

Clinics
Methadone clinics exist across British Columbia that dispense methadone and provide psychotherapy. While the physicians that work out of methadone clinics are regulated by the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, methadone clinics themselves are not regulated. In the directory listings that follow, methadone clinics will be listed as either private clinics or direct services of the Ministry of Health through the five regional Health Authorities.

Typically, methadone clinics are staffed with both medical professionals (nurses, physicians) as well as counsellors. Since physicians bill the provincial government for patient appointments the monthly fee is negligible, ranging from no fee to a maximum of $65 per month. Refer to the methadone clinic listings below for fees, hours of operation and access to service (drop-in or appointment required).

Access to Methadone Maintenance Therapy in Communities Not Listed

Please note that access to methadone maintenance therapy may exist in other communities not listed in the Medical Services section. Readers are recommended to contact their local Mental Health & Addictions branch in the Government Outpatient Services section of this directory.

Treatment Services for HIV/AIDS & Other Communicable Diseases in BC

 “Drug abuse behaviour plays the single largest role in the spread of HIV Infection in the United States today” (1). Injection drug users have long been targeted by public health initiatives because of the recognized vulnerability of this population to blood-borne illness such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B & C. Worldwide, roughly one-tenth of new HIV infections result from needle sharing (2) while in Canada the rate is closer to 20 percent (3).

Typically, injection drug users are a hard-to-reach population so harm reduction approaches are often used as an alternative to abstinence-based treatment. Furthermore, service providers struggle with the concurrent treatment of addiction and HIV/AIDS (4). Many injection drug users in Canada have other risk factors and often live in inner city neighbourhoods, are aboriginal, or spend time in prison settings (4).

(1) Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse, March 2005.
(2) Source: 2006 Report on the global AIDS epidemic (2006) UNAIDS
(3) Source: Care, Treatment and Support for Injection Drug Users Living with HITS/AIDS (1997) Health Canada.
(4) Source: Best Practices: Substance Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation (1999) Health Canada, pp. 47-49, Gary Roberts, Alan Ogborne.

Primary Care Mental Health and Addiction Services in BC

Primary Care is defined as the first care a patient receives. It is often a family physician, although patients may also receive primary care from a nurse, a paramedic, midwife, or other types of health care providers.

Specialized primary care clinics for individuals with mental health and/or addiction issues are an important service for the many individuals that do not have a family physician and often find themselves relying on walk-in clinics. Specialized primary care clinics provide longer sessions and the opportunity for patients to get the personalized service typically limited to those with a family physician.

Please note that primary care mental health and addiction services are not always walk-in clinics. Individuals requiring primary care services should call ahead as many clinics often require an appointment or a referral from an approved health professional.

Addiction Medicine Services in BC

Addiction medicine is defined as a field of medicine that is focused on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of substance-related disorders and addiction (1). Physicians with specialized expertise in addiction medicine are known as addiction physicians or addictionologists. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, 40 percent of its members are psychiatrists while the remainder have received medical training in other fields.

The addiction medicine specialists listed in this directory are typically in private practice and serve insurance companies, unions, or large employers who have an employee with substance misuse issues. Once the employee is referred to an addiction physician, an Independent Medical Evaluation (IME) is provided which is an independent assessment that diagnoses for chemical dependency and provides treatment recommendations. Please note that the provision of an IME does not include psychotherapy.

(1) Source: Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM)

Medical Monitoring Services in BC

Medical monitoring is defined as ‘compulsory’ supervision of patients who have had primary treatment for substance dependence (1). Those trained in medical monitoring (“monitors”) work to ensure that an employee complies with the Independent Medical Evaluation issued by the addiction physician. Compliance can be ensured either biologically (‘pee-testing’) or by observing behaviour during mandatory, short-notice, face-to-face meetings with the employee. Typically, monitors have training in addiction counselling, practice strong boundary skills, and have some knowledge of mental health issues (2). Similar to addiction medicine, medical monitoring is a service provided to substance-misusing employees on behalf of referring entities such as insurance companies, unions, or large employers. Medical monitors do not provide psychotherapy to clients.

(1) Source: Medical Monitoring: The Key to Success (April 2008) Paul Farnan, M.D., HealthQuest.
(2) Source: Daniel Roitberg, RTC, ACRPS

Glossary of Acronyms for Medical Services

ASAM
American Society of Addiction Medicine
CCFP
Certificant of the College of Family Physicians as certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada
CPSBC
– College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC
CSAMCanadian Society of Addiction Medicine
FASAM – Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine

Main BC Referral Lines to Medical Services for those affected by Alcohol and Drug Misuse

BC Nurse Line
Phone: (604) 215-4700 (Vancouver)
Toll-free: 1(866) 215-4700
Deaf and Hearing-Impaired: 1(866) 889-4700
Note: the BC Nurse Line is staffed with Registered Nurses and provides triage, assessment of symptoms, translation services, call transfer to emergency services (crisis lines, ambulance), and referral to non-emergency programs (detox, outpatient counselling). Nurses also provide inter-rim self-care instructions for individuals who cannot immediately access counselling or medical services such as detox. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Access Central
Toll-free: 1(866) 658-1221
Note: for referrals to detox and supportive recovery housing. Access Central is staffed with social workers who can provide on-the-spot counselling and coping strategies. Hours are 9 am to 9 pm seven days a week. Messages left on voice mail will be returned the following day.

D-Talks Youth Detox Line
Toll-free: 1(866) 658-1221
After hours: (604) 872-4349
Note: a toll-free number for youth 12 to 21 requiring detox treatment services. D-Talks is staffed with social workers who can provide on-the-spot counselling and coping strategies. Hours are 9 am to 9 pm seven days a week.

Mutual Support Meetings (AA, NA, Al-Anon, etc.) in British Columbia

Acronyms and Definitions

AA – Alcoholics Anonymous (main site is www.aa.org)
CA – Cocaine Anonymous (main site is www.ca.org)
NA – Narcotics Anonymous (main site is www.na.org)

Alano Clubs - a place for recovering people to meet and socialize in a clean and sober environment before and after 12 step meetings.

Al-Anon / Alateen– a twelve-step program of recovery for friends and family members of individuals who misuse or are addicted to alcohol. Al-Anon is for adults within the program whereas Alateen is for youth (ages 12 to 20).

Intergroup – centralized offices (typically AA) that operate independently of the worldwide service structure. Intergroups are established to carry out certain functions (i.e. maintaining lists of meetings) that are best handled by a centralized office within a geographic region. Intergroups are maintained, supervised, and supported by Intergroup members. There are more than 600 Intergroup offices functioning through the world performing AA services.

LifeRing – a secular mutual support group that broke away from another secular mutual support group, SOS, in 1999. LifeRing is abstinence-based.

Nar-Anon - a twelve-step program of recovery for friends and family members of individuals who misuse or are addicted to drugs.

SMART Recovery® - is a secular mutual support group that “has a scientific foundation, not a spiritual one.” SMART Recovery® views addictive behavior as a maladaptive habit, rather than as a disease.

Regional British Columbia Mutual Support Group Contact Information

Al-Anon/Alateen - Vancouver Central Services Office
BC - Yukon Area 81
101-3680 East Hastings St.
Vancouver, BC V5K 2A9
Phone: (604) 688-1716
Website: www.bcyukon-al-anon.org
E-mail: afgcentraloffice@shaw.ca
Note: see the Kelowna section for the BC Interior Office and the Victoria section for the Vancouver Island Office.

Alcoholics Anonymous - BC Yukon Area 79
PO Box 42114
Vancouver, BC V5S 4R5
Phone: (604) 435-2181
E-mail: info@bcyukonaa.org
Website: www.bcyukonaa.org

Alcoholics Anonymous - Greater Vancouver Intergroup Society
3457 Kingsway
Vancouver, BC V5R 5L5
Phone: (604) 434-3933
Fax: (604) 434-2553
E-mail: intrgrp@vancouveraa.ca
Website: www.vancouveraa.ca
Note: See the Victoria section for the AA Central Office in Victoria.

Alcoholics Anonymous - Area 78
Website: www.area78.org
Note: covers North eastern BC (Peace River area) and South Eastern BC (East Kootenays).

Alcoholics Anonymous - Area 92 (Washington State East Area)
Website: Area 92
Note: covers South Eastern BC AA meetings (Nakusp, Slocan, Kaslo, Winlaw, Fruitvale, New Denver, Nelson, Castlegar, Trail and Salmo).

Nar-Anon British Columbia or Nar-Anon Vancouver
PO Box 38734
126 W 3rd St.
Vancouver, BC V7M 3N1
Phone: (604) 878-8844
Website: www.nar-anonbcregion.org
Website: Nar-Anon Vancouver
E-mail: naranonbc@shaw.ca

Narcotics Anonymous - BC Region
B.C. Regional Service Committee
PO Box 1695, Stn. A
Vancouver, BC V6C 2P7
Phone: (604) 873-1018
E-Mail: Use form on the "contact us" page
Website: www.bcrna.ca

Narcotics Anonymous - Canadian Assembly
Canadian Assembly of Narcotics Anonymous
PO Box 812 Edmonton Main
Edmonton, AB T5J 2L4
E-Mail: Use form on "contact us" page
Website: www.canaacna.org

Narcotics Anonymous - Chinook Area
Chinook Area Services Committee of Narcotics Anonymous
PO Box 61134
Kensington Postal Outlet
Calgary, AB T2N 4S6
Phone: (403) 991-3427
E-Mail: Use form on "contact us" page
Website: www.chinookna.org
Note: covers NA meetings for Cranbrook, Fernie, and Kimberley.

SMART Recovery
Website: SMART Recovery
Vancouver (604) 715-8804 (Rene)

Residential Services in British Columbia

There are two types of residential services for adults with addiction issues: Primary Treatment & Support Recovery

I. Adult Primary Treatment in British Columbia
Primary treatment, sometimes referred to as residential or inpatient treatment, is
necessary when substance use has progressed to dependence. Residential programs provide around-the-clock supervision, group therapy, individual therapy, education, meals, and accommodation.

Typically, publicly funded medical services (such as detoxification) and primary treatment are offered in separate facilities. Therefore, clients entering publicly funded primary treatment must be medically stable prior to admission (1).

Several private primary treatment centers in British Columbia provide detox as a means of facilitating admissions to their programs. However, these detox services are not stand-alone so clients must agree to stay (and pay) for primary treatment (2).

(1) Note: clients may be asked to sustain a period of abstinence (or “clean and sober” time) that, depending on the treatment centre, can vary from 3 to 10 days.
(2) Note: an exception to this is Crossroads Treatment Centre in Kelowna.

Wait Times for Adult Primary Treatment Beds

Unfortunately, demand for publicly-funded adult primary treatment beds often exceeds supply. Although wait times can often be counted in weeks, adults in need of treatment are encouraged to sign on to wait lists since a number of factors (1) can shorten the wait. For individuals or their families who are unwilling to wait for publicly funded services in BC, consider an Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (AADAC) program (2). A second alternative is private treatment centers since these programs typically have shorter waiting lists compared to their publicly funded counterparts.

(1) Note: clients may be discharged early, waiting applicants may decide not to seek treatment while waiting, or end up finding another program.
(2) Note: see the AADAC website at www.aadac.com.

2. Adult Support Recovery Services in British Columbia
Support recovery, or sober living, is a less-intensive residential service that is typically a minimum of 60 days in duration but can last as long as two years.

Sober living is provided to clients who have completed residential treatment but require a greater level of support than what is available at home. The amount of time allocated to actual therapy, level of supervision, and qualifications of staff varies but is generally less than primary treatment.

In this directory, adult support recovery programs were reviewed based on the following criteria: religious content, gender (male-only, female-only, co-ed, or gender separate *), and company policy on methadone.

Some organizations that offer support recovery services have multiple houses where houses are assigned clients by stage:

Stage I (or Junior): clients at this stage are in early recovery and are not stabilized in their recovery. Typically, Stage I clients are not allowed to work or go to school and require an approved “buddy” who monitors their activities when they go off-site.

Stage II: clients are allowed to be more independent and may not require supervision for off-site activities such as part-time work or school.

Stage III (or Senior): clients at this final stage of support recovery are expected to be working or going to school full-time. By Stage III, clients have stable recovery, although clients may need continued support as they work on core personality and lifestyle programs.

It is important to note that many support recovery programs in British Columbia are not licensed by the provincial Ministry of Health. Without a license, support recovery programs may have insufficient hygiene and safety standards as well as staff qualifications. Therefore, it is recommended that individuals or their families considering support recovery call first to schedule an appointment to meet with staff and inspect the premises.

(*) Note: the term “gender separate” means that clients do not share programming, meals, accommodation or leisure time with the opposite sex.

Secular and Faith-Based Options for Support Recovery

Many support recovery programs in British Columbia incorporate religion * into programming. Typically, these programs have a Christian orientation and require mandatory participation in one or all of the following activities: group bible study, scheduled independent bible reading, or Sunday worship.

Please note that programming that discusses religion or spirituality in psycho-education group is not considered faith-based participation.

Finally, while some may argue that 12-step meeting attendance, Big Book study, or 12 step work is a form of religion, this directory does not consider 12-step programming as faith-based.

However, programs that have modified 12-step literature to incorporate a “Higher Power” that is exclusively God based on New Testament readings is also considered faith-based programming.

Clients that have issues with organized religion are recommended to call programs directly and ask for specific details on mandatory faith-based programming participation.

(*) Note: the term “religion” does not include “spirituality” which explores issues of life purpose and meaning as well as issues of existence beyond the self.

Income Assistance Eligibility for Publicly Funded Residential Services in British Columbia

Clients who are residents of alcohol and drug residential treatment facilities funded by the Ministry of Health (MoH) may be eligible for the standard user fee ($1,200 per month) and a comforts allowance ($95 per month). To receive assistance while in an alcohol and drug residential treatment facility, clients must be eligible for income assistance or disability assistance.

In addition, clients in the alcohol or drug treatment centre may be eligible to receive actual shelter costs for the client’s usual place of residence up to the maximum shelter amount for the client’s family unit  ($375 per month).

The following persons are not eligible for per diem assistance paid to service providers, but may receive assistance up to the appropriate level based on the size of the family unit:
•  clients who reside in facilities not funded by MoH
•  recipients of hardship assistance

Source: Ministry of Housing & Social Development

For more information please contact your local Mental Health & Addictions Services office (see the Government Outpatient section).

Youth Residential Services in British Columbia

There are fifteen residential youth programs located in British Columbia (1), including both primary treatment and support recovery. Almost all residential youth addiction programs are operated by contracted agencies since youth addiction treatment is not the primary mandate of the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) or Mental Health & Addiction Services through the Regional Health Authorities (2).

Many residential youth programs require a referral prior to admission. Typically, referrals are secured by addiction counsellors working out of Mental Health & Addiction Services offices. However, youth with concurrent mental health/addiction issues may also be referred by MCFD. To locate an outpatient counsellor for the purposes of a referral see the Government Outpatient Services section. 

(1) Note: excluding Native-based youth residential services.
(2) Note: MCFD focuses primarily on mental health, Mental Health & Addictions focuses primarily on adults.

”Youth” Programs Are Not Always Just for Youth

It is important to note that many “youth” programs accept young adults. Of the fifteen identified residential youth programs, 2 accept clients up to 19 years of age while an additional 4 programs work with youth up to ages between 21 and 25 years of age.

Furthermore, youth can qualify for any adult residential addiction program if their 19th birthday occurs prior to discharge.

Wait Times for Residential Youth Beds

Unfortunately, demand for youth residential beds often exceeds supply. Although wait times can often be counted in weeks, youth in need of treatment are encouraged to sign on to wait lists since a number of factors 1 can shorten the wait. For families who are unwilling to wait for publicly funded youth services in BC, the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (AADAC) has three residential youth programs 2. For families that can afford private treatment, there are several fee-for-service residential youth programs in Canada (3 are listed below) and many more in the United States 3.   

(1) Note: clients may be discharged early or waiting applicants may decide not to seek treatment while waiting or end up finding another program.
(2) Note: AADAC Youth Residential Services in Lethbridge (403-388-7600), Calgary (403-297-4664), and Edmonton (780-422-7383). Their website is www.aadac.com.
(3) Note: For locating a private residential youth program in the United States or Canada contact Know How Education and Career Services (604-818-5669), a Vancouver-based consulting firm with expertise in helping parents find private youth treatment and education programs. Their website is www.knowhoweducation.com.

Two Types of Residential Treatment: Primary Treatment & Support Recovery

In the listings that follow, there are both primary treatment services and support recovery (sober living) services. Primary treatment typically follows detoxification and is designed for individuals in early recovery. Support recovery usually follows primary treatment and is designed to facilitate a gradual transition from primary treatment to a client’s home community. Compared to support recovery, primary treatment involves a higher level of supervision, program intensity, but shorter duration. For more information on the various types of treatment refer to Brief Descriptions of Available Services in BC on page 4.

Native Residential Services in British Columbia

There are 14 native residential programs (both primary treatment and support recovery) located in British Columbia. These programs typically follow a holistic wellness model (1) although some programs also have a 12-step component as well.  Furthermore, Native primary treatment often utilizes a gender separate (2) closed group format where all clients start and finish the program together.

Admission prerequisites are often higher for Native-based residential programs than their mainstream counterparts. For example, prior to admission, native programs often require that clients sustain abstinence (usually 2 weeks clean and sober) and regularly attend outpatient counselling (typically 6 sessions).

Funding for the Native residential programs that follows is provided primarily through National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs (NNADAP) although certain programs are co-funded by the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) or the Ministry of Health through Regional Health Authorities.

Non-Native British Columbians are accepted at most programs, however, programs are geared for a Native population, often with population-specific issues (i.e. residential school abuse). In addition, non-Native British Columbians may need to pay a fee for access to services. Non-Native applicants in need of funding are recommended to contact his/her employer’s Employee Assistance Program for financial assistance or the appropriate government agency to determine eligibility for income assistance.

For key information on Native residential services refer to the table above. Noteworthy information and the program’s website are provided in the individual listing section.

(1) Note: as part of the wellness model, physical fitness is encouraged, thus, the description section of individual listings describes fitness provisions.

(2) Note: gender separate means that the program accepts both sexes but with no shared programming, recreation, meals, or accommodation.

RESOURCES

II. ONLINE RESOURCES

Addiction Websites Specific to British Columbia Rehab

Centre for Addictions Research of BC

Crystal Meth and British Columbia Rehab

BC's Crystal Meth Strategy Factsheet (July 2007) is a coordinated community response including government ministries, regional health authorities, and addictions treatment service providers to address the use of methamphetamine. Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

Crystal Meth and Other Amphetamines: An Integrated BC Strategy (August 2004) provides a coordinated approach to prevent and reduce the use of supply of methamphetamine and other illicit drugs. BC Ministry of Health.

Marijuana and British Columbia Rehab

Marijuana Use Among BC Youth highlights the results of the 2003 Adolescent Health Survey on marijuana use. McCreary Centre Society.

Call us toll free 24 hrs for a confidential consultation
1-866-487-9010

Self-Help Links

Directory of Alcohol & Drug Rehab Programs


Drug Info


Vancouver Coastal HealthSunshine Coast Health Center is a provincially-approved drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility licensed by VCH


QmentumSunshine Coast Health Center is an accredited health care provider with Accreditation Canada

Follow Daniel Jordan, our director, for more information.