As The City of Vancouver struggles with an unprecedented surge in drug overdose deaths, health officials are pushing forward with plans to open more supervised injection sites.
Dr. Patricia Daly with Vancouver Coastal Health told Vancouver City Council today that five applications will be made to the federal government by the end of this summer.
“We are looking at a couple of our community health centres. We are looking at one location at an acute care hospital. And we are looking at two specific sites in the Downtown Eastside . One where we currently provide inpatient care to injection drug users who need intravenous antibiotic treatment, and also we are considering adding these services to recently announced mental health and addictions drop in site.”
She says the average overdose rate at Insite was 5 a week.
It’s now seeing 30-40 overdoses a week.
B.C. has experienced an unprecedented rise in overdose deaths with 308 this year alone, more than half of them attributed to fentanyl.
“We are considering five additional sites initially in Vancouver and there may be more in the future because we would like to begin to incorporate supervised injection services into all of the harm reduction services we provide to our clients who are addicted to illicit injection drugs.”
Daly adds Coastal Health is also increasing access to the overdose antidote naloxone in an attempt to save more lives.
Daly says two will be located on the Downtown Eastside; the others at community health centres and an acute care hospital.
They could open as early as next year.
Daly says they could be open as early as next year.