New treatment beds for women open in Downtown Eastside

Jan 25 2017, 9:48 pm

For those battling substance abuse, “the pathway to recovery is different for everyone.”

Those are the words of BC’s health minister Terry Lake, as another pathway opens in Vancouver.

It comes in the form of 38 new women-specific substance use treatment beds, at Atira’s Rice Block building at 404 Hawks Avenue, in the Downtown Eastside.

Ten of the beds are earmarked for short-term stay, while 28 others are longer term transitional beds for women who are stabilized in their substance use but need ongoing support.

“Atira is thrilled to be embarking on this journey in supporting women… particularly in this time of epidemic deaths related to opioid use,” said Janice Abbott, CEO of Atira Women’s Resources Society.

The Rice Block, Abbot said, will now be a place “where women can come together, explore their substance use with a goal to either eliminate or reduce it, so that it is no longer harmful to their health or their relationships with their families and the community.”

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Vancouver Coastal Health and BC Housing are providing funding to Atira to deliver enhanced substance use treatment as well.

Having substance-free spaces where women feel safe and supported “is a pivotal step in the journey to recovery,” said Vancouver Coastal Health’s Bonnie Wilson. “Once women are away from situations where their safety is in jeopardy, they can begin addressing their physical and emotional health needs.”

The new beds will “provide women with the necessary supports to put their best foot forward on the road to recovery,” Lake added.

Eric ZimmerEric Zimmer

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