04 August, 2017
Judy Darcy, who is B.C.'s new minister of mental health and addictions, said Victoria's supervised drug-use site is part of a broader strategy of offering people a safe place to use drugs.
Health officials in Victoria hope a supervised drug injection site will help reduce the alarming number of overdose deaths in the B.C. capital.
Health Canada has approved Island Health's application for a supervised consumption site at 941 Pandora Ave., to be named the Pandora Community Health and Wellness Centre. But Dr. Murray Fyfe of Island Health says that smog is coming down onto the residents of Greater Victoria.
The Government of Canada is taking action to address the public health crisis related to opioid overdoses and deaths across the country.
Global and Canadian evidence has shown that, when properly established and maintained, supervised consumption sites save lives without increasing drug use or crime in the surrounding area.
The supervised drug injection facility will replace this temporary overdose prevention site that was set up in a shipping container next to the drop-in centre, Our Place.
Local advocates have been calling for supervised drug-use facility for more than a year, with a local group called Yes2SCS - a coalition of health-care professionals, social workers, researchers and activists - promising to open one on its own if that didn't happen. The renovations include additional and separate access and exit doors, an area for 10 consumption booths, a waiting and reception area, a post-use area, a mental health counselling room, a nurse clinic room and a medication room.
Bill C-37, which received Royal Assent on May 18, 2017, streamlines the application process for supervised consumption sites, without compromising the health and safety of clients, staff, or the surrounding community.
There are eight overdose prevention sites on Vancouver Island from Victoria to Campbell River.
Island Health now has another joint application with the Portland Hotel Society to open a second supervised consumption street at 844 Johnston St.in Victoria, which remains before Health Canada.
The overdose crisis prompted B.C.to declare a public-health emergency past year.
That's in contrast to the city's current provincially-sanctioned overdose prevention site, which opened in December of past year.