Vancouver: Drug and Alcohol Addiction, Rehabilitation and Recovery
General Information for Vancouver
A coastal city located in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Vancouver is the largest city in both the province and Western Canada. With a population of 2.5 million in the metropolitan area, Metro Vancouver is the third largest metropolitan area in Canada, and the second largest in the Pacific Northwest, after Seattle. Vancouver is the second most popular city for immigration, after Toronto, with a little over half of its population listing not-English as their first language. The city is home to one of the most diverse Chinese communities, and one of the largest concentrations of ethnically Chinese persons in all of North America. The city is bordered by the Strait of Georgia, the Burrard Inlet, the Fraser River, and the city of Burnaby.
Vancouver is the busiest seaport in Canada, exporting more cargo than any other port in North America, and is one of the largest industrial centers in the country. Traditionally, the local economy relied on British Columbia’s resources—forestry, mining, fishing, and agriculture. Although still housing the headquarters for several major forestry and mining companies, in recent years, the city has seen a surge in the software development, biotechnology, tourism, and service industries. Affectionately named ‘Hollywood North’, Vancouver is now ranked the third largest film production center, after Los Angeles and New York.
The city has a vibrant local arts scene, with numerous galleries, museums, theatres, and festivals, hosting both the annual Fringe and International Film festivals. Vancouver, over the years, has grown a successful independent music scene. The Vancouver Folk Music Festival and Vancouver International Jazz Festival are popular annual events.
Consistently ranked within the top three of the most liveable cities in the world, Vancouver currently ranks fourth highest quality of living worldwide, and the 10th cleanest city. However, it is also ranked sixth most overpriced real estate in the world, and second in North America.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse and Addiction in Vancouver
Despite the picturesque surroundings of Vancouver, and the clean city living, there is a much publicized but deep-seeded street drug problem in the city. A 2007 Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) study revealed that residents of BC were more likely to suffer from problems related to illicit drug and alcohol use; citing that 13% of BC residents and 11% of all Vancouver residents suffered problems with illicit drug and alcohol use.
The Canadian Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use Vancouver (CCEND Vancouver),\ found that drug-related deaths in Downtown Eastside Vancouver were approximately six times that of the provincial rate in 2003. Surprisingly, the largest number occurred in the 41-50 year old age category, and 90 percent of which were classified as ‘accidental’. The Downtown Eastside neighborhood is considered the center of injection drug use in Vancouver, with 4,700 users—compared to an estimated 12,000 users in the Greater Vancouver area. Marijuana is used by approximately one-quarter of the Vancouver youth population, with hallucinogens, followed by crack-cocaine, as next most common.
Furthermore, Vancouver residents are said to spend greater than 25 percent more on alcohol annually than other British Columbia residents. Approximately 44 percent of the city’s teenagers have consumed alcohol in the last 12 months, and 15 percent have reported to binge drinking.
At Sobriety Home, we keep up-to-date on all the latest drug use and addiction research so that we can offer the best treatment. New research allows a better understanding of alcohol and drug addiction, resulting in better counseling, treatment, and aftercare, and, ultimately, a more successful recovery process.