Campaigns and Issues

Youth Substance Services in BC – An Update from RCY

This week, the Office of the Representative for Children and Youth (RCY) released Youth Substance Use Services in B.C. – An Update (March 2020). This report relates to the other ongoing public health emergency in B.C. as declared by the Provincial Health Officer in 2016 – the alarming number of opioid-related overdose deaths in B.C.

RCY knows that the needs of youth and young adults dealing with problematic substance use don’t get ‘paused’ during COVID-19. Having a clear baseline understanding of what resources are available is important at this time.

The report notes: “Reiterating many of the concerns voiced by youth, families and service providers over the past several years, this report found that youth substance use services in B.C are limited and those that do exist are difficult to find and navigate between. The landscape is complicated, with a funding divide between mental health and substance use services leaving many service providers struggling to bridge the gap and provide appropriate services for youth with concurrent disorders. Information about services is also difficult to find, with no centralized point for access or information.”

The Office of the Representative for Children and Youth has suspended, at this time, the release of any reports that include recommendations to government.