No location yet but Kamloops safe consumption application nearly ready to be submitted - InfoNews

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No location yet but Kamloops safe consumption application nearly ready to be submitted

Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
February 01, 2017 - 4:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - No locations have been announced for the mobile safe consumption site planned for Kamloops, but the addresses, and application to the federal government are coming soon.

Rae Samson, the Interior Health Authority’s substance use services manager, says the original plan was to have the application, along with locations, submitted by mid-January. That’s been revised to mid-February. A safe consumption site could be operational in the city with in six months.

“We’d be looking to locate the van somewhere where it can work in close collaboration with the existing overdose prevention sites and the outreach workers,” she says.

The existing overdose prevention sites are located at the Crossroads Inn downtown at 569 Seymour St. and the ASK Wellness office at 433 Tranquille Rd. on the North Shore.

Samson and Interior Health community manager Kris Weatherman were in Kamloops yesterday, Jan. 31, to give council an update on the safe consumption service application. 

“We’re asking for a letter of opinion from the city in terms of their support or any concerns they might have about us going forward,” Samson says. “I think, as we heard today, that their very happy to participate in that.”

Weatherman told council these consumption services will be part of a multi-pronged approach, including education and overdose prevention sites.

Samson says the overdose prevention sites will stay for the time being. The two sites in Kamloops were originally funded to March 31.

“I think the word now is that we’re anticipating that we will be continuing so we’ll continue unless we hear that the funding is ending,” she says. “We do have commitment from both public health and mental health to continue funding them.”

The next step for Interior Health is to return to discussions with stakeholders, like the local business improvement associations, to nail down locations for the mobile sites.

“Their input is really important to us in terms of determining locations,” she says. “As we’re looking at the North Shore we really want to minimize any negative impact on businesses. We actually want to be a support to the business community there.”

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