Victoria's first permanent supervised consumption site to open mid-June
Registered nurse Sammy Mullally holds a tray of supplies to be used by a drug addict at the Insite safe injection clinic in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday May 11, 2011. (Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Tuesday, June 5, 2018 3:33PM PDT
A permanent answer to B.C.’s raging overdose epidemic could open in Victoria in the next two weeks, pending final federal government approval.
Victoria’s first brick-and-mortar supervised injection site is slated for a soft opening on June 14 with doors officially opening on June 18, according to officials with Our Place Society.
Island Health officials tell CTV News the opening is contingent on a final green light from the federal government.
The supervised injection site will be located on Pandora Avenue, next to the Our Place Society outreach facility.
“It’s a great way to keep people alive,” Our Place Society spokesman Grant Mckenzie told CTV News. “Without it the death toll would be unfathomable.”
Up to 10 people at a time will be able to inject or use illegal drugs at the downtown facility. Medical personnel along with outreach workers will be on site at all times.
Victoria’s first permanent supervised consumption site will be modeled after Vancouver’s Insite facility, Canada’s first supervised injection site.
Prevention 'pod' will be retired
Our Place Society, Island Health and SOLID Outreach Society have operated a make-shift overdose prevention pod to counteract B.C.’s overdose epidemic.
In May alone, the site welcomed more than 4,200 visitors and staff helped reverse countless overdoses.
Our Place Society says once the permanent supervised injection site opens, it will operate the pod for another two weeks before retiring it.
In 2017 more than 1,400 British Columbians died from illicit drug overdoses.