Secular Addictions Recovery

Byron did the right thing. He told his employer he had an addiction and he sought treatment.

He was required to attend a faith-based recovery program to keep his job and when he refused he lost his job.

Byron's story is hardly unique.

British Columbia is in the midst of an overdose epidemic, yet many treatment plans require people fighting addiction to attend faith-based twelve step programs or recovery facilities.

For those required to undertake treatment by their employer, an insurer or a court, this amounts to religious coercion.

Further, there's little good evidence to show these treatments work. At the same time, there are secular, evidence based alternatives.

Why aren't these the norm?

Join our call for an end to religious coercion in addictions recovery.

Join our Secular Addictions Recovery campaign

Please note that we do not provide addictions recovery programs.

Latest news

BCHA Reiterates Call To BC Government To Regulate Addiction Recovery

Trigger warning: Sexual assault This month, shocking news about alleged sexual assault and cover-ups once again drew attention to inequalities and lack of accountability associated with addiction recovery programs in BC. Given this unfortunate string of events, we are renewing our 2018 call to the Government of BC to ensure...

An end to moralism: BCHA responds to Health Committee consultation

The BC Humanist Association is calling for an end to moralistic approaches to drug policy in its response to the Health Committee's consultation on the overdose and drug toxicity crisis.

Secular treatment options available for nurses following AA complaint settlement

Vancouver Coastal Health has agreed to change its policy to permit healthcare professionals to opt for a secular addictions treatment option. The move comes as part of a settlement agreement with Byron Wood, who had filed a human rights complaint after being forced to attend religious based Alcoholics Anonymous by...

Human Rights Tribunal to hear AA case

A BC Human Rights Tribunal adjudicator has rejected an attempt to dismiss a complaint against Vancouver Coastal Health Authority for forcing a nurse to attending a 12-step program. The BC Humanist Association (BCHA) has been following Byron Wood's case for several years now. This is the final step before Wood's...

Government questioned about secular recovery options

An opposition MLA questioned BC's Minister of Mental Health and Addictions last week about whether the province will require some recovery centres to offer secular options. The question came from North Vancouver-Seymour BC Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite during debate over the estimates for the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions on...

Give nurses evidence based treatment options

BC is at the forefront of addiction research and treatment provision. So when nurses develop substance use problems, why are are they not afforded the same right to quality and ethical health care as other citizens?

Mandatory AA policy deemed "unreasonable"

A labour arbitrator has ruled that Interior Health's policies around hospital workers with substance use issues are discriminatory. The policy is immediately suspended. According to the ruling, the health region's policy meant any employee who disclosed a substance use issue could be immediately suspended and required the employee to commit...

"I asked for evidence-based treatments and it was refused to me."

There is a risk that we are going to be forcing people, or trying to force people, to engage in a service or a support that is legitimately not right for them. Karen Urbanoski, a scientist at the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research in Victoria, told this to journalist Bethany...

Ensuring choice in addictions recovery

The BC Humanist Association today submitted its recommendations for a draft mental health and addictions strategy in British Columbia. The provincial government has been collecting feedback for a strategy following the creation of the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions last year. In its response, the BCHA calls for secular...

BC Government launches consultation on addictions strategy

The BC Humanist Association is encouraging people to share their stories about the importance of secular and evidence based treatments as part of a new consultation for a draft provincial mental health and addictions strategy. Last year, the Government of BC created the Ministry of Mental Health and Addiction. The...

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