Health Canada approves three more supervised injection sites for Metro Vancouver

Health Canada approves three more supervised injection sites for Metro Vancouver

Besides providing supervised injection services, Fraser Health is also hoping to gain approval to allow injection of intra-nasal and oral substances on site - in other words illegal drugs that can be snorted or taken by mouth - which would be a first in Canada.

Two new supervised-injection sites have been approved in Surrey.

Vancouver Coastal Health was the applicant and will fund the supervised-injection facility at Lookout Society Powell Street Getaway (528 Powell Street).

But at a conference in Vancouver, health officials said restrictions mean only people who inject drugs can receive supervision, not those who use drugs in other forms.

Surrey and Vancouver have been two of the hardest hit cities during the epidemic, with more than 1,000 people dying of a drug overdose since the beginning of 2016. "No single action is going to put an end to the mounting number of overdoses occurring across the country, and it is crucial that we work together and continue to explore new ways to help us reverse the course of this crisis". The legal sites are not to be confused with several "overdose prevention sites", including the one at Lookout's Powell Street location, which have operated in Vancouver and in other parts of the province since late a year ago.

These sites will replace existing overdose prevention sites created through a ministerial order in December by former Health Minister Terry Lake.

Surrey Strip
The Strip in the Whalley neighbourhood of Surrey is where one of two new supervised injection sites will be located

"Ultimately, I think we have to realize our crisis here is not just among people who inject drugs". The provincial coroner said numerous deaths have been caused by fentanyl, a powerful opioid.

Provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall and Dr. Patricia Daly, chief medical health officer for Vancouver Coastal Health, welcomed the news of the latest approval, with Daly saying in a news release the new site "will go a long way in helping to stem the fatalities that are plaguing our city".

Health Canada says in a news release that the mobile site is the first of its kind to be approved in Canada, and will provide a "geographically flexible" service to clients.

The mobile site is supposed to provide additional services that compliment three fixed sites that were approved by Health Canada in February.

"The Strip" in the Whalley neighbourhood of Surrey is where one of two new supervised injection sites will be located. "The evidence also shows that they decrease infections and the transmission of communicable disease, and can also decrease the use of emergency departments, as well as hospital admissions related to injection drug use".

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