FENTANYL CRISIS: Mobile overdose prevention unit hits the road in Kelowna
Howard Alexander - News Editor
Doses of naloxone are pictured in this file photo.
Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
April 26, 2017 - 11:31 AM
KELOWNA – The mobile unit promised by the Interior Health Authority to replace the fixed, overdose prevention site in downtown Kelowna and the closed site in Rutland is up and running today.
The mobile unit will be making scheduled stops in downtown Kelowna in the parking lot of the Outreach Urban Health centre at 455 Leon Ave. and next to the Rutland Community Dialysis Centre at 124 Park Road, according to an Interior Health media release.
Interior Health announced in January, rather than apply for a federal exemption for fixed, supervised consumption sites downtown and in Rutland, they would refit an RV and create Canada’s first mobile supervised consumption site, able to be moved to hot spots around the city.
Interior Health says people who use drugs can be safely monitored in the mobile unit and get help if they overdose.
As well, the mobile prevention unit’s staff will be offering people harm reduction services like offering kits with the anti-opioid drug naloxone. They will also be providing some primary health services.
Unlike the fixed, supervised safe injection site, the health workers won’t be supervising the drug use in the mobile unit until Interior Health gets the Health Canada exemption.
The mobile unit will be at the downtown Kelowna location during the daytime from Tuesday to Saturday between 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
In the evening, it will be in Rutland from Tuesday to Saturday between 7 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
So far in 2017, 24 people have died from an illicit drug overdose in Kelowna.
Get caught up on the overdose issue here.
Find past stories on fentanyl crisis here.
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