With the addition of two mobile sites, the Government has now authorized 14 supervised consumption sites in Canada to help address the opioid crisis
OTTAWA, July 19, 2017 /CNW/ - Opioid overdoses are claiming the lives of thousands of Canadians of all ages, and from all walks of life. The impact of the opioid crisis continues to be devastating to individuals, families and communities. The Government of Canada recognizes that harm reduction is an important part of a comprehensive approach to address the opioid crisis, and we are committed to ensuring that evidence-based measures are part of our efforts to reduce the harms caused by problematic opioid use. 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.
Health Canada has provided exemptions to British Columbia's Interior Health Authority to operate two new mobile supervised consumptions sites in British Columbia – one in Kamloops and one in Kelowna.
These two mobile sites will offer supervised injection services and will be more geographically flexible to better serve clients. They can also direct clients to complementary harm reduction services.
As of July 19, 2017, Health Canada has approved a total of 14 supervised consumption sites. 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.
The Government of Canada is committed to combatting the current overdose epidemic and to taking swift action that will help save the lives of Canadians. Responding to this crisis requires a whole-of-society approach. 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.
For more information on what the Government of Canada is doing to address the opioid crisis, visit Canada.ca/opioids.
"We are committed to working with all partners across the country to combat the overdose crisis. Supervised consumption sites are an important part of a comprehensive response. I am pleased to see these exemptions approved for Kamloops and Kelowna, British Columbia so they now have additional tools to address the crisis, and provide further support to those who need it."
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