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New treatment beds for youth struggling with substance use announced for Kelowna

Youth dealing with substance issues will now be able to seek live-in treatment at the Bridge Youth and Family Services Society. Courtesy: Interior Health

Okanagan youth with substance use issues will now have an option for treatment closer to home.

Interior Health has awarded a contract for 10 treatment beds for youth to the Bridge Youth and Family Services Society in Kelowna.

“Today’s announcement is a cause for celebration as we move forward together to offer a live-in resource for young people experiencing addiction,” said Celine Thompson, executive director of the Bridge Youth and Family Services Society.

In a statement, Interior Health said the inpatient treatment beds provide a short-term “live in” environment with daily programming to address the underlying causes of a person’s substance use.

Read more: B.C. reports 438 new COVID-19 cases as top doctor defends plan to delay second dose

They’re for youth living in the Interior Health region between the ages of 12-18 with significant and complex substance-use challenges, who have not been successfully supported through less-intensive treatment, according to a news release.

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“Interior Health is pleased to work with the Bridge Youth and Family Services Society to bring these vital services to Kelowna,” said Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health. “With these new beds, young people will be able to access high-quality inpatient treatment closer to home.”

Read more: Penticton addiction resource centre at risk of closure after loss of funding

The new beds are expected to open this spring.

Interior Health said the province has promised to double the number of youth substance-use beds currently available in B.C.

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