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British Columbia Overview & Quick Facts


In British Columbia, government services for drug and alcohol addiction have been integrated with mental health services. Services are divided into regional health authorities and residents requiring addiction services are typically encouraged to access services in their own community before crossing boundaries into another health authority.

British Columbia, particularly Vancouver and Victoria, is a popular destination for the homeless due to its mild winter climate. As a result, Vancouver is often the first city in North America to experiment with new ways to help the homeless such as methadone maintenance, safe injection sites, and needle exchange programs.

Quick Facts
Alcohol and Drug Prevalence Rates
Alcohol – Heavy Frequent Use in Past Year*
(Canadian avg. 14.4%)
Cannabis – Use in Past Year
(Canadian avg. 9.1%)
Cocaine/Crack – Use in Past Year
(Canadian avg. 0.9%)

*Note: heavy frequent use means five drinks or more, more than once a week).
Source: Health Canada (2011). Canadian Alcohol and Drug Use Monitoring Survey.

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