Victoria's first supervised consumption site will provide needed services to help address the opioid crisis
OTTAWA, Aug. 3, 2017 /CNW/ - Our government fully supports harm reduction measures as part of a comprehensive approach in addressing the overdose crisis facing many Canadians and their communities across the country.
On August 3, 2017, Health Canada granted an exemption to the Vancouver Island Health Authority to operate a supervised consumption site in Victoria's Pandora Community Health and Wellness Centre. This fixed site is the first in Victoria and, once operational, will provide supervised injection services along with additional harm reduction and counselling services to its clients in Victoria.
International and Canadian evidence has shown that, when properly established and maintained, supervised consumption sites save lives without increasing drug use or crime in the surrounding area. Supervised consumption sites reduce transmission of communicable diseases, decrease infections, reduce emergency room use and hospital admissions related to injection drug use, and decrease overdose deaths.
The Government of Canada is taking action to address the public health crisis related to opioid overdoses and deaths across the country. Our approach is comprehensive, collaborative, compassionate, grounded in sound evidence, and firmly dedicated to saving lives and protecting the health and safety of Canadians.
Bill C-37, which received Royal Assent on May 18, 2017, streamlines the application process for supervised consumption sites, without compromising the health and safety of clients, staff, or the surrounding community. To date, Health Canada has approved a total of 16 supervised consumption sites in Canada.
For more information on what the Government of Canada is doing to address the opioid crisis, visit Canada.ca/opioids.
"I am pleased to see this approval of a supervised consumption site in Victoria. Harm reduction measures play an important part in a comprehensive response to the epidemic of overdose deaths. These sites provide additional support and tools to help communities address the potential harms of high-risk drug use and most importantly, they save lives."
The Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Health
SOURCE Health Canada
For further information: Andrew MacKendrick, Office of Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, 613-957-0200; Media Relations : Health Canada, 613-957-2983; Public Inquiries: 613-957-2991, 1-866 225-0709