B.C. Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy. (Black Press)

New regulations require training for B.C. addiction recovery homes

Inspections, standards replace ‘wild west,’ Judy Darcy says

The B.C. government is imposing new regulations on addiction recovery facilities to clean up loosely regulated services funded by the province, Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy says.

Most of the province’s recovery homes provide good support, but there are some that haven’t and they are being regulated or shut down, Darcy said Wednesday at Last Door Recovery Society in New Westminster.

“In many ways it was like the wild west,” Darcy said.

Standards for training and skills of recovery house staff are set out in the new regulations, and operators will be required to provide program and policy information up front for individuals and their families seeking help, she said.

The regulations follow the closing of two recovery houses operated by Step by Step in Surrey, after the family of Zachary Plett reported unacceptable conditions following his death from a fentanyl overdose.

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Regulations will also allow the province to act more quickly when problems with a facility are reported, and require follow-up with clients to connect them with community support when they leave a recovery centre, Darcy said.

Asked about Surrey’s decision to cap the number of recovery homes at 55, Darcy said it is up to the city to change the rules.

“The issue was that many of these homes were not meeting quality standards,” she said.

The government is also reviewing the $30-per-day rate for clients in recovery homes, which has remained the same for many years, Darcy said.

Legislation allowing for the restrictions was passed by the previous government in 2016, and a cabinet order establishing the new regulations has taken effect.


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