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Community feedback sought on supervised consumption services in Nanaimo

April 24, 2017

Nanaimo - Island Health is seeking feedback on a proposed model and location for supervised consumption services (SCS) prior to submitting an application to Health Canada.


Supervised consumption services are being proposed for Nanaimo to address the urgent overdose fatality crisis. SCS is a health service that saves lives, improves health, and connects people with needed services. Individuals can attend to inject or consume illicit substances they have obtained in a hygienic environment under the supervision of trained staff, and have opportunities to engage in other health and social services.

The model and location of the proposed supervised consumption service for Nanaimo needs to align and fit with the needs of the local community, including persons with lived experience, service organizations, law enforcement, local residents, businesses and the community as a whole.

Over the coming weeks, Island Health will seek feedback on the proposed supervised consumption service model and location. The community is invited to a Community Drop-in for information and discussion on:

Tuesday, April 25. Drop-in anytime from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, at the City of Nanaimo Service and Resource Centre (SARC building), Main Floor Board Room, 411 Dunsmuir Street, Nanaimo.

For additional ways to provide feedback, visit www.viha.ca/scs. Feedback received before June 5, 2017 will be evaluated and incorporated as required for the application for exemption to Health Canada.

Island Health has also met, and continues to meet with a cross-section of service providers that deliver programs to individuals who use illicit substances. Feedback from these organizations and individuals will also inform the service model and service approach.

Additional information about supervised consumption services, including the proposed service model, proposed location and criteria is available at www.viha.ca/scs.

Island Health continues to work closely with the Ministry of Health, working groups established under the Joint Task Force on Overdose Response and medical staff at the BC Centre for Disease Control, in collaboration with community partners and local government, in the development of an application for this important health service for Nanaimo.

Proposed supervised consumption services model for Nanaimo

Under the model proposed for Nanaimo, services would be offered as part of broader, integrated health and social services provided at the same location and through outreach services. These ancillary services may include harm reduction services, health care (physicians, nurse practitioners), mental health and substance use supports and referrals, treatment programs, rehabilitation and recovery services, and engagement and connection with other social and health services.

Supervised Consumption Service as a community health initiative is an important part of a comprehensive health strategy designed to reduce the harm illicit substances cause individuals, families and communities. The service will reduce public substance consumption, reduce the discarding of drug consumption supplies in public spaces, and reduce reported incidents of public disorder overall.
Based on research and data that show where individuals inject substances, where overdose calls are reported and where other services are located, the proposed 437 Wesley Street location is central in the geographical area that has been identified as a high priority location for supervised consumption services in Nanaimo.

Details about the proposed location are available at www.viha.ca/scs.

The supervised consumption service model will complement new and existing substance use services in Nanaimo. Local Island Health services have added 4 new Supportive Recovery beds and 5 new Sobering and Assessment Beds. Local services have also increased access to treatment programs and interventions such as opiate replacement therapy and outpatient counselling services along with an increase to street and community outreach services.

Island Health Media Inquiries:
Valerie Wilson
Island Health Communications
250.739.6303
valerie.wilson@viha.ca