Interior Health awards contract for new youth withdrawal management beds

April 8, 2022

Interior Health has awarded a contract for five new youth withdrawal management beds in Kamloops.

“Our government is working urgently to build a comprehensive and seamless continuum of care and these new youth withdrawal management beds are a vital part of that,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “These beds will help youth in the Interior on their pathway to recovery.”

These five beds are in addition to 10 youth substance use treatment beds announced a year ago for Kamloops and another 10 in Kelowna.

“Interior Health is committed to expanding and strengthening substance use services in Kamloops and the surrounding area,” said Interior Health president and CEO, Susan Brown. “Thanks to support from the Province and community partners, we are pleased to offer more services for young people struggling with substance use challenges.”

This contract is awarded to Kamloops Society for Alcohol and Drug Services to provide community-based youth withdrawal management services, housing and hospitality services in its Phoenix Centre facility. The target population is individuals living in Interior Health aged 12 to 24 who are seeking withdrawal management for a variety of substance use challenges.

“We are excited to support young clients in a safe and culturally relevant environment and implement a philosophy of care that is client-directed with a focus on developing strengths and resiliency,” said Phoenix Centre executive director, Siân Lewis.

The new beds are expected to open this fall.

Withdrawal management – sometimes called detox – provides short-term medical supervision and support to people who are experiencing withdrawal symptoms related to the discontinuation of alcohol and some drugs. In certain circumstances, medical supervision is important because of the potentially serious health risks related to withdrawal. Clients accessing this service stay in a facility with 24-hour staff support from a multi-disciplinary team. In addition to medically supervised support for withdrawing from alcohol or other drugs, other services are available such as supportive counselling, substance use education, daily programming, and referrals to relevant services to support ongoing journey to recovery.

The new beds in Interior Health are part of the Province’s commitment to double the number of youth substance use beds available in B.C. announced on August 13, 2020. The Ministry of Health and Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions committed to implementing 123 new beds across the province as part of the 10-year strategy Pathway to Hope.

Mental health and substance use services for people throughout the Interior continue to develop. Integrated Treatment Teams are working throughout Interior Health to embed multidisciplinary outreach to people who need flexible support that works for them. Access to Opioid Agonist Treatment is growing, with the nurse prescriber program continuing to expand; and more mental health and substance use clinicians hired in communities across Interior Health.

For more information about substance use services in Interior Health, visit

Quick facts:

  • Withdrawal management beds are one piece of a continuum of care for addiction issues. Others include outpatient-based and in-patient treatment. It is important to have a range of services available as each person’s experience with addiction is unique, as is their experience of recovery.
  • The new beds will be available for youth living anywhere in Interior Health between the ages of 12-24 who are experiencing withdrawal symptoms related to the discontinuation of alcohol and some drugs.

Interior Health is committed to promoting healthy lifestyles and providing a wide range of quality health-care services to more than 801,000 people living across B.C.’s vast interior. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter @Interior_Health, Instagram @interiorhealthbc or like us on Facebook at

Kamloops Society for Alcohol and Drug Services (KSADS) has been providing substance use services and advocacy for individuals, families and communities in the Interior region since 1973. The Society opened the Phoenix Centre in 1982 offering in-patient medical withdrawal management (detox) and outpatient programming for youth, adults and families. Services include Detox, Supportive Transitional Living in Recovery (STLR), Raven (youth counselling and support to families), Osprey (day treatment programming for youth involved with MCFD) and Adolescent Outreach (youth counselling services in both Merritt and Kamloops). KSADS also works closely with school districts in both Kamloops and Merritt providing onsite support to youth dealing with substance use issues.

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Media, for information:

Interior Health                      


Siân Lewis, Executive Director Phoenix Centre

Kamloops Society for Alcohol and Drug Services



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