If you’re facing a wait time in accessing in-person care in your community for substance use disorder, you may ask your care provider to refer you to the Virtual Addiction Medicine (VAM) Clinic.

People use substances such as controlled and illegal drugs, cannabis, tobacco/nicotine and alcohol for different reasons, including medical purposes, religious or ceremonial purposes, personal enjoyment or to cope with stress, trauma or pain. Substance use disorder is a treatable medical condition that affects the brain and involves compulsive and continuous use despite negative impacts to a person, their family, friends and other. 

VAM gives you access to a doctor over the phone who can assess your needs, and start a treatment plan that works for you. Your care will be transferred to a medical provider in your community when one becomes available.

VAM supports Interior Health Mental Health and Substance Use (MHSU) locations throughout the Interior, as well as First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) and First Nations Health Service Organizations (FNHSO) providers in the Interior.

Help is available.

If you need immediate help, visit your nearest emergency department, or call a 24-hour crisis line.

Call 310-MHSU (6478) to connect with your local Mental Health & Substance Use location

Resources

Opioid Agonist Treatment Resource List
Substance Use Fact Sheet - Alcohol

Frequently Asked Questions

What does “virtual” mean?

You’ll be able to speak with a doctor on the phone who can assess your needs, and start a treatment plan that works for you. Your care will be transferred to a medical provider in your community when one becomes available.

How do I get referred to the Virtual Addiction Medicine Clinic?

Call 310-MHSU (6478) to connect with your local Mental Health and Substance Use location. If you’re facing a wait time in seeing a doctor or starting treatment, ask about the Virtual Addiction Medicine (VAM) Clinic.

How is a VAM appointment scheduled for me?

If you’re referred to VAM, someone from VAM will call you. If you’re unavailable, they will leave a number for you to call back.

What are the VAM Clinic hours of operation?

Monday to Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. PST
VAM is closed on Sundays and holidays.

What other services are available to me?

These Safer Use Services meet you where you’re at, when you’re ready.

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