Kamloops and Kelowna are taking another step forward in the fight against the opioid overdose crisis with permission from Health Canada for supervised consumption services.
The Interior Health Authority applied for the supervised consumption services back in March and have been using mobile overdose prevention units in the meantime, according to a media release from Interior Health.
In the two communities, staff offered harm reduction services in those units and they will soon be used for safe and supervised drug use.
In Kamloops, the unit is stationed at Crossroads Inn on Seymour Street and at ASK Wellness on Tranquille Road. In Kelowna the unit will stop at the Outreach Urban Health centre at 455 Leon Ave. and next to the Rutland Community Dialysis Centre at 124 Park Rd., Interior Health says.
It isn't clear when the units will make the transition but Interior Health says it'll most likely happen in the next two weeks.
Once the transition is complete, staff in the mobile units can supervise drug use, administer naloxone, share harm reduction supplies and give primary care health services, and counselling and referrals.
"These are the two cities where the most overdose deaths have occurred within the Interior," Dr. Silvina Mema says in the release, adding Interior Heath is not looking at adding other supervised consumption services in other communities.
Chief medical health officer Dr. Trevor Corneil says these units aren't just a place to do drugs, they are a point of contact to reach at-risk people.
“Supervising a person who is using drugs is more than just observation. It is an opportunity for intervention, education and building a therapeutic relationship,” Corneil says in the release.
Find past stories on the fentanyl crisis here.
Find more information about the overdose crisis here.
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