Youth substance use beds in B.C.

Substance use beds for young people are an important part of Government’s work to build a comprehensive and integrated system of care for mental health and addiction in B.C.

The bed-based services support youth to meet their substance use treatment goals and include withdrawal management (detox), supportive recovery, bed-based treatment and transitional beds. These services are part of a journey to wellness, which starts with connecting with health authority services and may include other ways to support youth. There is no cost to youth and families for the services.

Substance use services in B.C. are delivered as part of a broad continuum of care that includes case management services, outreach programs, community counselling, day treatment, home and community-based withdrawal management (detox), harm reduction services and supports, crisis intervention services, medication-assisted treatment as well as bed-based services.

Bed-based services might be a good fit for young people who require a higher intensity of services to address complex or acute mental health and/or substance use challenges. Bed-based services may also be the right choice for young people who are experiencing significant barriers to care (including homelessness or unstable housing).

Talking to a health care provider, like a family doctor, nurse practitioner or mental health or substance use clinician, can help you or your family member decide whether bed-based services are the right treatment option.

Each program aims to provide a friendly and safe environment, often in a home-like setting. Services typically include health and wellness supports, socializing, school time, clinical therapy and outdoor activities with a focus on creating a safe, non-judgmental and collaborative environment. Many incorporate access to cultural supports, such as Elders, cultural ceremonies, and land-based healing activities.

Youth can learn more about what to expect in specific programs in these example videos:


How you can access bed-based services

Young people, families and caregivers may reach out directly to most of the health authority substance use programs as listed below. Youth also may be eligible for Mental Health and Wellness Supports through First Nations Health Authority health benefits. Youth can also be referred to services, for example, by primary care physicians, Foundry or Ministry of Children and Family Development Child and Youth Mental Health clinicians.

There are also other services to treat youth substance use issues in each health region and there are programs specifically for Indigenous youth in some communities.

View the list and maps of services and contact services in your region:

Interior Health Authority: Youth Substance Use Services & Resources - to apply for youth bed-based substance use services, fill out an application form and email it to Connect with local Mental Health and Substance Use Centres by calling 310-MHSU (6478).

Vancouver Coastal Health Authority: Youth substance use services - to apply, contact the Central Addictions Intake Team at 604-209-3705 to discuss options and best fit

Island Health Authority: Referrals to Youth & Family Substance Use Services, contact the Mental Health and Substance Use (MHSU) Service Link at 1-888-885-8824.

Fraser Health Authority: Youth Substance Use Services, contact 604-614-2383. If you are in a mental health or substance use crisis and live in the Fraser Health region, contact the Short Term Assessment Response Treatment (START) team, at 1-844-782-7811

Northern Health Authority: Mental health and substance use, contact 250-645-7415 (for youth aged 18 and under)

First Nations Health Authority: Mental Health and Wellness Supports. Contact KUU-US Indigenous crisis line for youth: 250-723-2040 or 1-800-588-8717.

Youth can also access the Virtual Substance Use and Psychiatry Service, through a referral from a health care provider, including FNHA Mental Health Providers

First Nations youth in rural and remote areas may be able to access medical transportation benefits or Jordan's Principle services for transportation to bed-based services outside their area.

Provincial Health Services Authority (Phoenix Society). Learn more at: Provincial Youth & Young Adult Substance Use Treatment Program. Referrals only through health care providers, who can contact or liaison contacts within the referral form.

Supporting youth

Caregivers can find out more about Live-in Substance Use Treatment for Youth and learn about talking to youth about alcohol and substance use, how to have conversations and what to do in case of overdose.