100,000 visits, 820 overdose reversals, and zero deaths since December 2016. Those are the statistics released today by Island Health regarding their overdose prevention sites.
In a release, Island Health also said that the number of people using their overdose prevention and supervised consumption services (OPS/SCS) sites has increased steadily in the communities they serve, demonstrating a need for these services.
Island Health has opened nine sites in communities across the region, including Campbell River, Courtenay, Duncan, Nanaimo, Port Alberni, and Victoria.
“The supports provided at overdose prevention and supervised consumption sites are crucial – not only do they save lives, but they offer people an opportunity to connect to treatment and supports,” said Judy Darcy, B.C.’s Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.
“These sites are one more important way we are working to ensure that people living with addiction have access to supports that save lives.”
What are these sites?
Overdose prevention and supervised consumption services are locations where people can use drugs under supervision by trained staff.
They also offer a suite of health services, including referrals to mental health counselling, as well as providing opportunities to build relationships and connect people with other services, supports, and treatment.
Staff are equipped with naloxone and are appropriately trained for overdose response.
“Overdose prevention services are saving lives,” said Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health Chief Medical Health Officer. “These sites are one of many tools we’re using to tackle the opioid crisis, and it is clear that without these services, more people would have lost their lives.”