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ASK Wellness sees upwards of 30 people a day at supervised drug site in Kamloops

ASK Wellness will see around 30 people a day entering this RV parked behind their Tranquille Road location.
July 21, 2017 - 11:11 AM

KAMLOOPS - The customized bus that operates as the mobile drug consumption unit in Kamloops has been operating in a limited capacity since May seeing about 30 users a day.

The federal goverment moved this week to add 'supervised' to the mobile units in Kamloops and Kelowna.

“In Kelowna what they were doing was observed consumption so people could consume on the bus but weren’t supervised,” ASK Wellness Society executive director in Kamloops Bob Hughes says. “Here in Kamloops the local manager and I were very clear in saying we were not willing to do that.”

He adds the sites have been a big success in keeping drug users safe and the improving the City's image.

“Before when people would come and grab harm reduction supplies, they would end up having nowhere to consume the drugs,” says Hughes. “They would go to the neighbours, they would go to the alleys, and so you end up with a public spectacle of drug consumption.”

Now Hughes says the drug sites give the users a safe place to consume, while also being in the company of a social worker that can offer resources to give them the opportunity to get help.

Hughes feels the 30 people a day is a fairly significant percentage of the hard drug users they work with, and he points out the people using these drug sites aren’t always who you may expect.

He says they will see two or three people every Friday afternoon, people he calls "weekend warriors."

“They pull up in a BMW or a new Jeep and they come in to get a whole bunch of gear.”

Hughes stresses these supervised drug consumption units are not just simply a place for drug users to get high and he believes the presence of a nurse and social worker while the drugs are being consumed could be the catalyst that will convince some people to turn their lives around.

Along with the ASK Wellness site on Tranquille Road there is a supervised drug unit at the Crossroads Inn on the corner of 6 Avenue and Seymour Street.


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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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