Fraser Health launches new drug-use support team to curb overdoses

Nearly 200 people have been killed by illicit drug overdoses in the region so far in 2018

Fraser Health is unveiling a host of new services to help people addicted to illicit drugs and their families, the health authority announced Wednesday.

The new resources were launched after a survey of nearly 1,200 people found more than half of those using drugs, but not accessing services, would benefit from easy, low-cost ways to get help.

The health region recorded the most overdose-related deaths this year in B.C., with illicit drugs killing 199 people by the end of April. Surrey alone has seen 80 deaths so far this year.

READ MORE: More than four overdose deaths a week in Surrey so far this year

READ MORE: 511 overdose deaths in B.C. so far in 2018: Coroner

Fraser Health is rolling out a new team that will allow doctors and hospital staff to call a drug-use expert.

The team will operate confidentially, providing information, counselling, and family support, and will help with access to treatment.

The health authority is also expanding its 24/7 crisis line, which will now provide substance use counselling, along with traditional mental health help.

A new weekly education and support group, operated by the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Coast BC, will help parents whose kids are struggling with addictions.

The Sashbear Foundation will also offer a 12-week education program to provide “skill-building support” to family members of someone with mental health and substance use problems.


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