Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Downtown Victoria overdose prevention site reopens after deadliest month for overdoses in B.C.


An overdose prevention site that moved to a mobile format during the COVID-19 pandemic has reopened after B.C. recorded its deadliest month for overdoses last month.

The Harbour located at 941 Pandora Ave will once again offer harm reduction and overdose prevention services.

The site will be open seven days a week between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

According to a statement from Island Health, enhanced cleaning and physical distancing protocols have been instated at the location and “The Harbour will observe all provincial orders around COVID-19”.

A total of 170 people in B.C. died due to drug overdoses in May 2020—a death toll that surpasses the number of people who died of COVID-19 in the province throughout the entire pandemic.

B.C. has now recorded three consecutive months with over 100 people dying from drug overdose. So far this year, 554 people have lost their lives to drugs.

Toxicology testing data from this recent report suggests that there has been a spike in the number of deaths that have an extreme concentration of fentanyl in April and May, compared to previous months.

Fentanyl and analogues have been detected in 82.8 per cent of all suspected illicit drug overdose deaths since 2016, followed by cocaine detected in 50 per cent of all such cases.

Victoria remains one of the top three regions most affected by this crisis, losing 49 people to drugs so far this year, and 21 in May alone.

The overdose epidemic in B.C. has claimed 98 lives in the Island Health region in 2020.


Brishti Basu
Former Senior Staff Writer and Content Manager at Victoria Buzz.

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