The first supervised consumption service on Vancouver Island will soon to be open.
Island Health said the service will be located at 844 Johnson Street and will be open in a “matter of days.” It is the second safe consumption site to be approved on the island by Health Canada and the first one to open.
The first supervised injection site to be opened in the province and North America was in Vancouver back in 2003.
The first supervised consumption service for Vancouver Island was approved in August for 941 Pandora Avenue in Victoria. That location is still under renovation and is scheduled to open in the spring or summer of 2018.
The Johnson Street site will have a registration area where people can access harm reduction supplies along with a post-use area to monitor those who use the services.
Eight other overdose prevention sites will remain in place across the Island.
“Supervised consumption services reduce harm from drugs and save people’s lives,” said Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health Chief Medical Health Officer in a statement. “The opioid crisis has been devastating for our Island communities and it is our responsibility as health care providers to offer more supports and resources where they are needed.”
The new supervised consumption site is aimed to support the work of the new Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions to address the overdose crisis.