Sunday, April 21, 2024

Two locations picked for potential public safe drug consumption site in Victoria

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Island Health has identified two locations as potential spots for public supervised consumption sites in Victoria.

The locations are 941 Pandora Street and 2920 Bridge Street.

In a release, Island health says the proposed locations are the result of months of work with the City of Victoria, Vic-PD and the YES2SCS group that has long asked for these sites.

Island Health is also considering a third site at the Johnson Street Care Home, which would be for building residents only.

The downtown and Rock Bay areas have been identified as high priority locations based on data that shows where individuals inject drugs, where overdose calls are reported and where other services are located.

Health Minister Terry Lake said additional supervised consumption services is one of the key items they’re working on as part of their overdose response strategy. “In nearly 15 years of operation, more than 3 million injections have taken place at Insite in Vancouver and not one person has died of an overdose. The evidence on them is very clear and demonstrates that they would be of great benefit to Vancouver Island,” he said in a release.

Island Health’s Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Richard Stanwick said supervised consumption services save lives, improve health, and connect people with needed services. “Our community has experienced a rapid increase in overdose deaths associated with the current opioid crisis, and these services are urgently needed in Victoria and within the rest of Island Health’s service area.”

The health authority is proposing a multi-site model for supervised consumption and may include additional services such as public health services, mental health and substance use supports and referrals.

Island Health is asking for public input on how to make these sites work. Two public consultations will take place next week:

  • Nov. 22: Burnside-Gorge/Rock Bay (Centennial United Church from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.)
  • Nov. 23: Downtown Victoria (City Hall from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.)
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Victoria Buzz Staffhttps://www.victoriabuzz.com
Your inside source for Greater Victoria happenings. Established in 2012.

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