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VIDEO: Interior Health is planning to add 37 new addiction treatment beds in the Okanagan

The Okanagan could soon see as many as 37 new substance abuse beds to help people struggling with addiction.

A published request for proposals by Interior Health is calling for service providers for 12 beds of "withdrawal management" and a further 25 beds of "stabilization/transitional" treatment in one or more locations.

Kelowna city councillor Loyal Wooldridge first drew public attention to the plans.

"I came across this and it's exactly what we're advocating for," said Wooldridge. "I think it's a great benefit that could come to our community."

Doug MacKenzie couldn't agree more.

MacKenzie has 27 years of experience in the field and operates two private pay rehabilitation centres called "Options Okanagan".

"37 beds will be a lot," said MacKenzie. "Obviously we need treatment beds. So 37 beds would be a big hit for the area. It would be a big relief."

Wooldridge has turned to Instagram to help the agency find the space it's looking for.

Interior Health is looking for locations in and around Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton.

Wooldridge said the need for these facilities is dire.

"But it always comes down to space," he said. "That's why I put it on social media and I'm talking to you today to see if there's anyone from Vernon all the way down to Osoyoos that might be able to step up and lease, at market rates, some space to house these services."

The request for proposal process is open until Dec 9.



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