Vancouver Coastal Health says Powell River has the second highest overdose rates in the VCH region
Vancouver Coastal Health has opened an overdose prevention site in Powell River.
The Powell River Overdose Prevention Site, a partnership between VCH and the Powell River Community Action Team, opened its doors Thursday in a temporary structure in a downtown lot.
It’s the first VCH facility of its kind to open outside of Vancouver.
“Communities in every corner of the province are impacted by the overdose crisis, including Powell River,” Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, said in a press release. “We know these services work. They save lives. This OPS will help ensure that people who use substances in Powell River will have access to life saving services and connections to treatment and recovery and social services where and when they need them.”
Vancouver Coastal Health says Powell River has the second highest overdose rates in the VCH region.
According to the latest data provided by the B.C. Coroners Service, a total of 1,514 people died in B.C. of suspected drug overdoses in 2018, including six in the North Shore/Coast Garibaldi region which includes Powell River.
B.C. Emergency Health Services reported 76 calls for overdose in Powell River last year.
VCH, which has six overdose prevention sites in Vancouver, will provide clinical support and harm reduction supplies at the Powell River facility, while PREP Community Programs, a local non-profit agency, will manage day-to-day operations.
The city of Powell River is providing the land for free for one year.