The B.C. Coroners Service has confirmed a public inquest to launch in January into the death of Brandon Jansen who overdosed on fentanyl while living at a substance-abuse treatment centre in Powell River.
It’s a move his mother Michelle is confident will will bring change to a system she says doesn’t work.
“Early on he said, you know mom I have a problem, I took fentanyl and I’m addicted to it, that is all I think about and I can’t seem to shake it on my own I need help,” she said.
She turned to private treatment to get that help, but says there was breach of duty of care.
“I had met with them and spoken to them the day before he died and told them what my concerns and Brandon’s concerns were and we were given verbal assurances they would all be addressed with extra eyes and ears put on Brandon. And that simply wasn’t the case,” she said.
Chief coroner Lisa Lapointe has formed a specialized team to take a close look at overdose deaths.
It’s funded under a $10-million commitment announced by Premier Christy Clark last month.
She says average families can’t afford private health care costs, which in her case reached $40,000 a month, and they need more Government assisted beds.
In statement to CKNW, the Province says they have committed to 500 substance use beds in 2017.
“we’ve also committed to opening 500 substance use beds and stand by our commitment to reach that goal in 2017. Over 220 beds have already been opened and health authorities will continue to open more of these beds in the coming months. Recently, Interior Health announced an additional 73 substance use treatment beds, Fraser Health announced 97 additional beds, and Island Health announced 38 additional beds — all to open by early 2017.”
NDP Opposition Mental Health and Addictions critic Sue Hammell read from the 2013 Liberal government platform which she says contradicts that.
“Recognize that additional addiction services are required in the province and work with provincial health authorities and the not-for-profit sector to create and additional 500 addiction spaces in the province by 2017.”
Jansen also claims the province said it would open those beds by 2017 and not “in 2017.”
Hammell says it doesn’t matter when the promise was made.
” The truth of the matter is, is that we are two months away from 2017 and they haven’t reached 50% of the beds yet, and those beds are needed now and regardless of the semantics in,by,before,now on,after…..we need the beds now.”
Hammell says what’s sad is the number of youth beds that have been cut by the Christy Clark government, claiming a drop of 29% overall per 100,00, and in the Fraser Health region they have been cut by 50%.
The province highlighted the new 10-bed inpatient unit at the HOpe Centre, opening in spring 2017, which will provide specialized, intensive services for youth living with mental health and substance use challenges and the reopening of the Crossing at Keremeos in 2017, which will offer a 22-bed program to provide intensive residential substance use treatment for young adults aged 17-24.