A wealthy Vancouver family has given $20 million to a drug rehabilitation center in honor of a relative who passed away from an opiate overdose.
Jill Diamond, executive director of the Vancouver Diamond Foundation, said that her brother Steven Diamond may still be alive today if he had been treated at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.
In a statement, Jill Diamond stated, “We are speaking in public for the first time today because we want to save lives. We looked everywhere but couldn’t get Steven the help he needed.
At the age of 53, Steven Diamond passed away in 2016 from a fentanyl overdose. He passed just a week before his scheduled appointment with an addiction psychiatrist after spending over three months on the waiting list.
The hospital’s Road to Recovery program, which aims to reduce treatment gaps by shortening waiting list weeks and enabling patients to get a full spectrum of caregiver treatment services in one location, will be supported by a $20 million grant to St. Paul’s Foundation.
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“Road to Recovery started with the vision of providing a comprehensive continuum of substance use care in a single setting at St. Paul’s Hospital, so people can get the evidence-based addiction treatment they need, when they need it,” said Dr. Seonaid Nolan and the B.C. Center for Substance Use.
According to a statement from the St. Paul Foundation, the province has set aside $60.9 million for program operation expenses, and the program will be funded by a $586 million investment in treatment and rehabilitation programs in the 2023 budget.
According to the report, the first stable beds should become accessible in the fall.
Despite having maintained long-term sobriety, Jill Diamond’s brother, an addiction counselor and massage therapist, suffered with substance misuse, which forced him back into treatment.
According to Jill Diamond, this incident “clearly demonstrates that our health care system was and is not up to the task.”
“Steven is a well-known addiction specialist with knowledge of the subject and financial support from family for rehabilitation. Even with all of his efforts, he was unable to recover, proving that addiction is a disease that necessitates new forms of treatment and medical research.