Health Canada has approved the construction of a safe consumption site, which will be the first permanent one to open on Vancouver Island.
This announcement arrives as Victoria was shown to have the third highest rate of overdoses in British Columbia.
The location is set to open immediately and serves people at the Johnson Street Community building.
The site includes access to harm reduction supplies, a monitored consumption area, and a location for post-use.
Another site was approved on August 4th and is set to open at 941 Pandora Ave. The location requires extensive renovations and will open in spring/summer 2018.
As efforts to combat this crisis mount, the government has put out a call for workers who have experience with drugs to assist in support of people who use the consumption site.
If you suspect that someone is having an overdose, some signs can include:
- Cold skin
- Inability to wake up or stay awake
- Small pupils
The Health Canada website advises that you should call 9-1-1 immediately.
The person should also be given naxolone if it is available. Naxolone can temporarily prevent an overdose when used quickly, and buy time until emergency services arrive.