Skip to main content

Substance Use Services

We help people and their families who are experiencing substance use during pregnancy and/or after birth.

Families in Recovery (FIR)

Launched in 2003, the Families in Recovery (FIR) Program at BC Women’s Hospital is the first of its kind, providing specialized support to individuals who are pregnant or newly parenting while navigating substance use and mental health concerns. 

FIR provides customized services through a multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, social workers and other support services. Service delivery applies culturally sensitive practices, trauma-informed care, and adherence to harm reduction principles.

From pregnancy through to postpartum or after birth care, FIR staff ensure comprehensive care, focusing on a smooth community reintegration. Our focus is on meeting patients where they are at, creating individual goals, supporting the parent-infant bond, as well as attachment and wellbeing through a rooming-in model in a safe, supportive  environment.

Pregnant individuals requiring support while navigating substance use and mental health concerns. Abstinence is not required; services are patient-centred and tailored to meet individual needs.‎

Referrals to the program can be made either through self-referral or by healthcare providers. 

To access this service, please call the FIR unit directly at 604-875-2229 (monitored 24hrs/day) and request to speak with the Patient Care Coordinator or Social Work Lead.  

Alternatively, you may submit a referral form via fax at 604-875-2221. We welcome and prioritize referrals to ensure timely and appropriate support for individuals seeking our specialized services.

“When I came to FIR, I was overwhelmed with self-doubt. I wanted to move forward in my recovery, but felt that I had run out of options. The FIR program and staff helped me to regain my confidence and supported me with the goals I wanted to work on. I felt empowered, I had people who believed in me. I was able to establish a recovery plan, supports, and feel ready for discharge. I needed a program that reminded me of what I was capable of achieving." 

–Recent FIR Patient‎


Mental Heath & Substance Use Engagement Network

BC Women’s Hospital has established a Mental Health & Substance Use (MHSU) Engagement Network  to improve the services we fund for those experiencing mental health and/or substance use challenges during the perinatal period (pregnancy and postpartum or post birth). We recognize the important of lived experiences in shaping our services. 

This Network, including the focus groups and social events, is lead by Patient & Family Advisors who are people with lived and/or living experience with substance use.

Focus groups

Network members will be invited to take part in focus group sessions to share their voice and lived experience.  We will ask questions and discuss a range of topics including improving substance use services and treatment, harm reduction, and stigma in healthcare settings.

Social events 

The MHSU Engagement Network will also organize social events to foster meaningful connections and build community with individuals with lived and/or living experience of mental health and substance use.

Who Can Join this Network:

  • We welcome people living in British Columbia who have experience with substances and/or alcohol during the perinatal period (one year before to 2 years after the birth of a child).  This could be in the present and/or past.
  • We welcome all cultures, ethnicities, backgrounds, gender identities, and lifestyles.
  • We welcome people with personal experience, or experience as a partner or family member of a person/people who used or used substances 

Complete an online consent form to participate in the MHSU Engagement Network.  

You can reach out to for further information. ‎

Heartwood Centre for Women

The Heartwood Centre for Women is a 30-bed inpatient facility that provides integrated treatment for women (19+), including transgendered women, across British Columbia who struggle with severe substance use and mental health challenges. Heartwood is part of BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services and is physically located at BC Women's Health Centre.

Please visit the Heartwood Centre for Women website for more information. 

Heartwood is a robust program with an interdisciplinary care team, offering full continuum of residential treatment, including stabilization. 

We will develop a customized care plan for you based on your needs, challenges and history. Heartwood is a 90-day program.

We serve women, including transgendered women, who are 19 years or older living in British Columbia struggling with severe substance use and mental health challenges.‎

If you are interested in receiving treatment at the Heartwood Centre for Women, contact your health professional about a referral.

If you are a health professional looking to refer a client or patient to the Heartwood Centre for Women, visit our referral page for information and packages.

SOURCE: Substance Use Services ( )
Page printed: . Unofficial document if printed. Please refer to SOURCE for latest information.

Copyright © BC Women's Hospital. All Rights Reserved.

    Copyright © 2024 Provincial Health Services Authority.