AIDS Vancouver Island and Island Health implementing overdose prevention services in Campbell River

CAMPBELL RIVER—As part of the Province’s response to the overdose emergency, AIDS Vancouver Island (AVI) and Island Health have implemented an overdose prevention site at 1371-c Cedar Street in Campbell River.

The Campbell River-based overdose prevention service began operating on May 15. The service is being operated by AVI with funding from Island Health. AVI is adding the overdose prevention service to existing services already in place at 1371-c Cedar Street, including a range of health and harm reduction services.

The overdose prevention service provides a place where people who use illicit opioid drugs can be safely monitored and treated immediately if they overdose. Staff at the site are equipped with naloxone and are trained for overdose response. The overdose prevention service is expected to be in operation as long as needed. The service will be available during regular business hours, Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Friday 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (closed from 12:15 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. for lunch). Weekend opening hours are anticipated in the next month.

Overdose Prevention Services are part of a broad overdose response strategy that includes education, prevention, outreach, harm reduction, naloxone kits, counselling, substance use treatment and supports, and access to mental health services.

Between January 1 and December 31, 2016, 156 people died from illicit drug overdose in Island Health, including 23 deaths in the North Island region, identifying the need to respond to the current health crisis with services for overdose prevention, and save lives.

Island Health’s new overdose prevention site in Campbell River supports the work of the Joint Task Force on Overdose Response established in 2016. As part of the wide range of actions taken, partners across the health system continue to expand access to life-saving naloxone and opioid addiction medications and treatments such as Suboxone, open more overdose prevention sites, work with Health Canada on approvals to open additional supervised consumption sites and improve the system of substance use services. 

Media Inquiries:
AIDS Vancouver Island:
Sarah Sullivan
AVI Manager, Comox Valley and Campbell River

Island Health: 
Valerie Wilson 
Director, Communications and Community Engagement