Vernon pilot project aimed at tackling opioid crisis in RCMP cells | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Current Conditions

Mainly Clear

Vernon News

Vernon pilot project aimed at tackling opioid crisis in RCMP cells

Naloxone with needle and kit in background.
Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
December 07, 2018 - 3:43 PM

VERNON - A new opioid pilot project is scheduled to take off later this month in Vernon and the surrounding area, providing a different avenue for dealing with high-risk addicts in police custody.

Vernon city council will learn more about this project at their regular meeting on Dec. 10. Vernon North Okanagan Regional RCMP detachment commander Supt. Shawna Baher will be leading a presentation on the project which, it is hoped, will help curb the startling number of opioid-related deaths in the province.

Vernon RCMP responded to 39 overdoses resulting in death in the last two years, according to Baher's presentation. Of that number, 23 had been prisoners in Vernon detachment cells at some point.

The Provincial Opioid Emergency Response Centre's pilot project, which is launching in Vancouver, Abbotsford and Vernon, is meant to catch those people who fall through the cracks. The project is designed to provide users, family members and friends with training in intervening with drug overdoses. Willing participants will also receive Naloxone, which is used to reverse the effects of an overdose. People who take these Naloxone kits will be educated on how to use them. These kits come at no cost.

It's hoped the pilot project will stabilize addicts while they're in custody and provide them with alternatives after their release so they don't immediately rush back to street drugs.

The Vernon detachment is the only RCMP division associated with this pilot project and will be divided into three stages over a year.

In the first month, the Interior Health Authority will train officers on how to refer prisoners and families to vital services. This training will include all detachments in the area, including Vernon, Coldstream, Enderby, Falkland, Armstrong and Lumby.

For 11 months, the program will be implemented. Logs will be kept to document when individuals were trained to use Naloxone kits. People who receive training will be able to replace their kits. After 12 months, a final report will review the pilot project, detailing the amount of people trained and kits dispersed.

The pilot project's total estimated cost is $6,280.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Sean Mott or call (250) 864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2018

  • Popular penticton News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile