WATCH: It has been 12 years in the making. In that time 400 people in Victoria have died from an overdose. But the city’s first public safe consumption site will open its doors Monday with the goal of saving lives and putting people on a path to recovery. April Lawrence got a look inside the facility today.
In response to B.C.’s overdose crisis, Island Health is set to open the doors to its largest supervised consumption site next week in Victoria.
The Pandora Supervised Consumption Centre opens Monday and will have ten consumption booths, reception and post-use areas, mental health councilling services, a nurse clinic room and a medication room.
Paramedics from BC Emergency Health Services will be on site to provide support to the supervised consumption teams.
The facility at 941 Pandora Avenue took $1.8 million to renovate and will continue to house the health authority’s Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams and associated clinical services.
Mental health and addictions minister Judy Darcy says supervised consumption sites save lives and connect people to the support they need dealing with addictions.
Vancouver Island’s first public safe consumption site set to open its doors next week. We’re getting a preview of the facility. @CHEK_News pic.twitter.com/xJZqkQ8G6O
— April Lawrence (@AprilCHEK) June 14, 2018
In its latest statistics through April, the B.C. Coroners Service reported 511 overdose deaths in the province this year.
Island Health held the second highest rate of suspected deaths from illicit drugs in B.C. among health regions.
Through the first four months of the year, there were 87 suspected overdose deaths in the Island Health region or 32.9 per 100,000 people.
The new supervised consumption centre will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, including holidays.
Island Health is reporting 121,000 visits to its nine supervised consumption sites since they’ve opened.
There have been a total of 663 overdoses at the consumption sites, but the health authority says there have been no deaths.