It has been reported by CTV Vancouver Island that there is an exemption granted to the Vancouver Island Health Authority for the operation of Victoria’s first supervised consumption site.
The site will open on 941 Pandora Ave. It has been named the Pandora Community Health and Wellness Centre. The centre will offer integrated health services in addition to addiction treatment programs, a nursing clinic, and mental health counselling.
The projected time for its opening is between the spring or summer of 2018. As the Pandora Community Health and Wellness Centre becomes functional and goes online, the site will provide the services for harm reduction and counselling.
Island Health says the site will need to undergo extensive renovations before it opens sometime in the spring or summer of 2018. In 2016, in British Columbia, 967 citizens died from a drug overdose. Some may see this as a siren call for action through harm reduction.
The site may be one of the steps in the Vancouver Island area to begin working on these issues around overdoses. 156 of the 967 deaths were on Vancouver Island.
The Vancouver Island Health Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Richard Stanwick, said, “The introduction of supervised consumption services is an important step in saving lives and harm reduction.”
Stanwick emphasized the opioid crisis and its “tremendous toll on the Island,” and so the need to provide more for hr needs of the communities regarding the problem of overdoses.
He mentioned supports and resources regarding this. “The opioid crisis has taken a tremendous toll on the Island and as health care providers, we must offer greater supports and resources to people in the communities we serve.”
2017 has not been much of a brighter series of months because the statistics between January and May, alone, have shown that 96 people have died from a drug overdose on Vancouver Island, which, as everyone familiar with the spectre of death and tragedy of permanent loss, affects the families and communities for years afterwards, typically.
The PHS Community Services Society and the Island Health made the join application for the operation of the supervised consumption site at 844 Johnston Street. Health Canada is reviewing the joint application now. “In total, there are eight overdose prevention sites on Vancouver Island,” CTV Vancouver Island said.