Report says others should follow BC's overdose prevention site example

By The Canadian Press
April 14, 2019 - 9:28am

VANCOUVER — Twenty overdose prevention sites sprang up in BC in the weeks after the province declared a public health emergency over illicit drug deaths, and now a new report says the sites should be a template for other jurisdictions.

The study, by researchers at the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research at the University of Victoria, says the sites provide an international example for saving lives, in contrast to the lengthy approval process many governments now use.

Report co-author Bruce Wallace says the facilities have the added benefits of integrating social supports, helping people access housing, health care and addiction services and they are a model to emulate.

Canada's Public Health Agency says almost 3,300 people died of apparent opioid-related deaths between January and September last year.

Wallace says other provinces should learn from BC's example and implement the prevention sites before more people die from an illicit drug supply that is increasingly laced with the powerful opioid fentanyl.

BC Addictions Minister Judy Darcy says the sites are an important prevention tool where thousands of overdoses have been reversed without a single life lost.

(The Canadian Press)

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