Addiction Resources

1 in 10 Canadians report symptoms of addiction or dependency.  The other 9 know someone who does. 

Source:  Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey, Mental Health and Well-being, 2003

Recognizing or seeking help for addiction is not easy, particularly if it is your colleague, your family member or yourself.  Getting assistance is often the best way to address and overcome addictions.  To help you and/or someone you know find assistance, the following resources are available.

Health Authorities
Online Directory of Service Providers
Help Lines and Referral Services
Counselling Services
Support Groups
Websites of Interest

Health Authorities

The Ministry of Health works together with British Columbia’s Health Authorities to provide quality, appropriate and timely health services to British Columbians.  Health Authorities provide addiction (counselling, detox, prevention, treatment), mental health, eating disorder and sex disorder services.  For more information, click on the Health Authority for the area you live.

Vancouver Coastal Health

Vancouver, Richmond, North and West Vancouver and along the Sea-to-Sky Highway, Sunshine Coast and BC’s Central Coast.

Fraser Health

Burnaby, Port Moody, Surrey, White Rock, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Delta, Langley, Abbotsford, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Mission, Chilliwack, Agassiz and Hope.

Interior Health

Kelowna, Kamloops, Cranbrook, Trail, Penticton and Vernon, as well as a multitude of more rural and remote communities.

Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island,  the islands of the Georgia Strait, and the mainland communities between Powell River and Rivers Inlet.

Northern Health

Northeast, Northern Interior and Northwest regions of British Columbia.

Online Directory of Service Providers

A free online directory listing of alcohol and drug rehab programs and other addiction-related services located in Canada.

Drug and Alcohol Addictions:

Visit and click on your city and province in the black bar. Programs and services are organized under:

  • Medical Programs: programs that treat the physical aspects of alcohol and drug misuse such as withdrawal management (detox), addiction medicine, drug testing and methadone maintenance.
  • Outpatient Services*: programs are offered once or twice a week, and are typically one to three hours per session. They are either government-funded (free) or private (ranging from $50 to $200/hour, depending on therapist qualifications). Meals and accommodation are not provided.
  • Residential Services*: Programs that provide counselling, meals and accommodation. Primary Treatment (usually 30 days) is intensive therapy followed by Support Recovery (usually 6 months or longer) where clients learn to transition back to society. Government-funded residential treatment is usually no cost or $50 per day but requires a referral from a family doctor, medical detox or government-funded outpatient clinic. Private treatment can range from $200 to $500 per day and does not require a referral.
  • Meetings: Meetings are social gatherings for people who want to stop drinking (AA, LifeRing, etc.), drugs (NA, CA) or have a loved one that is struggling with alcohol or drugs (Al-Anon, Nar-Anon). These groups are not therapy.

*If you are a resident of BC and enrolled in the BC Medical Services Plan, you are covered for 5-7 days of treatment in a government or provincially recognized residential or day detox facility. You must be referred by a doctor, counsellor or the Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation and Referral Line. Wait lists may apply, depending on the location and facility. If you require longer treatment, these facilities offer reduced or subsidized rates for provincially referred clients.

Eating Disorder, Gambling, and Sex Addictions:

Eating Disorder Programs:

Gambling Addiction Programs:

Sex Addiction Programs:

Please note:
  • Therapists in private practice will charge an hourly rate.
  • If you are enrolled under UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP), you can access confidential counselling services from UBC’s EFAP provider, Shepell at no additional cost besides the payment of monthly premiums (see Counselling Services below).
  • The UBC Extended Health plan also covers psychological services from a registered psychologist. For more information, please visit: and check coverage under your employment group.

From Grief to Action

A comprehensive website providing information to parents with children who have, or might have, an additive disorder. The website includes a coping kit, self-help documents and a searchable database of BC treatment centres and support groups. For more information, visit:

Help Lines and Referral Services

Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention

Greater Vancouver Tel:  1-800-872-3311

Toll-free BC wide:  1-800-784-2433 (1-800-SUICIDE)

HealthLink BC


24-hour service for British Columbians wishing to speak with a nurse about worrisome symptoms or a pharmacist about medication questions.  Visit

Alcohol and Drug Information & Referral Service

1-800-663-1441 or (604) 660-9382 within the Lower Mainland

24-hour service available to people across British Columbia needing information, support and help locating drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs.  Visit:

BC Eating Disorders Help Line

        1-800-665-1822 (toll free in British Columbia)

The BC Problem Gambling Help Line

        1-888-795-6111 (toll free in British Columbia)

A province-wide, toll-free, multilingual telephone information and referral service available 24 hours a day.  Information and referral specialists can provide immediate information for problem gamblers, their families and friends, and can refer callers to professional problem gambling counselling services. Visit:

Counselling Services

UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program

Confidential counselling services are available to UBC employees and their dependents enrolled in the UBC Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP). The services provided by UBC’s EFAP provider, Shepell, are confidential and there is no additional cost (above employee monthly premiums).

If you (or an eligible dependent) decide to make an appointment, Shepell will match you with a counsellor who specializes in addictions. You will receive short-term counselling to develop coping strategies and practical tools for abstaining from the addicting behaviour, with the goal of maintaining abstinence over time.

If the situation requires specialized care or long-term counselling that cannot be met under the short-term counselling model, the counsellor will work to find resources to best meet individual needs and budget. For more information, please visit

Family Services in the Community

Greater Vancouver

Family Services of Greater Vancouver serves children, youth, adults and families throughout the lower mainland (Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby, New Westminster, and Surrey) and other areas of the province. Services available:

  • Individual and family counselling;
  • Drug and alcohol counselling
  • Counselling and support to individuals, couples and families whose lives are affected by compulsive gambling.

For more information, please visit:

North Shore

Family Services North Shore serves children, youth, adults and families living in the City of North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver, the District of West Vancouver, as well as the Village of Lions Bay, and Bowen Island. Services available:

  • Individual and family counselling;
  • Eating disorder support group for parents, partners and caregivers facing challenges related to a family member with an eating disorder;
  • Eating disorders prevention program that provides education, resources and support for youth and families in BC.

For more information, please visit:


SHARE Family and Community Services Society serves children, youth, adults and families who are residents of the Tri-Cities (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra), New Westminster and adjacent communities. Services available:

  • Individual and family counselling;
  • Drug and alcohol counselling for youth and adults;
  • Problem gambling counselling for adults.

For more information, please visit:


Langley Community Services Society assists individuals and families in the Langleys. Services available:

  • Family counselling;
  • Drug and alcohol counselling;
  • Counselling to individuals, couples and families whose lives are affected by the misuse of alcohol and/or drugs by a family member or friend.

For more information, please visit:

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Family Education and Support Centre provides programs and services to those living in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

For more information, please visit:


The Kelowna Family Services Centre Society provides services to adults, seniors, children, youth and families in the Central Okanagan.

For more information, please visit:

Support Groups

Alcohol Addiction Support Group Meetings

Alcoholics Anonymous

Tel:  (604) 435-2181


Al-Anon/Alateen Family Group

Support for friends and family affected by someone else’s drinking

Tel: 1-888-4AL-ANON (1-888-425-2666)


Parents Forever

Support for parents and family members of adult addicted children

Tel:  604-524-4230 or 604-860-4203


Drug Addition Support Groups

Narcotics Anonymous


Cocaine Anonymous

24-hour helpline Tel: (604) 662-8500 / 1-866-662-8300 (toll free)


Parents Forever

Support for parents and family members of adult addicted children

Tel:  604-524-4230 or 604-860-4203


Eating Disorder Support Groups

Surrey Community Services

Tel: (604) 584-5811

Note: Offers professionally-led support groups.

The Vancouver Anti-Anorexia Anti-Bulimia League

Tel:  (604) 688-7860

24 hour crisis line:  (604) 872-3311

Note: runs a support group and publishes a newsletter.

BCEDA (British Columbia Eating Disorders Association)

Victoria, BC

Tel: (250) 383-2755

Note: offers support group services, information and referral services.

Whistler Disordered Eating Support Group

Tel: (604) 938-1006

Gambling Addict Support Groups

Gamblers Anonymous

Tel: (604) 878-6535


Sex Addict Support Groups

Sexaholics Anonymous

Tel: (250) 862-7122 (Kelowna)

Toll-Free: 1-888-357-8104 (Nanaimo)

Tel: (604) 290-9643 (Vancouver)

Tel: (250) 309-4098 (Vernon)

Tel: (250) 480-2118 (Victoria)

Websites of Interest


Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse

Centre for Addiction Research of BC

Youth Drug Prevention for Parents

Canadian Mental Health Association

National Eating Disorders Information Centre

Responsible Gambling Council


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