Victoria will be one of 20 high-risk communities in BC to receive a special grant from the Provincial government’s new Community Overdose Crisis Innovation Fund.
These funds will help local Community Action Teams (CATs) work with health authority regional response teams to figure out the first response tactics, early intervention, and prevention measures best suited to their specific locality.
“CATs across the province represent a diverse group of frontline workers, community members, first responders, medical and government partners coming together at the local level to co-ordinate activities for the purpose of saving lives,” said Miranda Compton, operations director, Provincial Emergency Overdose Response Centre.
“Team members are dedicated to making their communities safer, and work to co-ordinate and deliver a system of early, proactive support and awareness around the overdose crisis.”
Some of the strategies implemented by CATs include expanding community-level overdose prevention services, making naloxone more readily available, checking the existing drug supply for toxicity, provide early intervention services like treatment and housing, and more.
The funding will be made available in stages, with a maximum of $75,000 per community. After this first stream of capital, the next stage will be awarded in fall 2018, followed up by another boost in 2019-2020.
Cities receiving the grant right now:
- Maple Ridge
- Fort St. John
- Powell River
- Campbell River
- New Westminster
- Port Alberni
- Prince George
Island Health has had over 100,000 visits to its overdose prevention sites