Saturday, May 27, 2017
Over and Out
New safe injection sites open in the Surrey
administer use Naloxone to revive a man in October 2016.
Canada has approved Fraser Health to open two supervised consumption
sites in Surrey that will help save lives in areas that are among
the hardest hit by the public health emergency.
"Today's news is the
result of many months of planning and consultation at all levels,
and we are pleased that Health Canada has approved these two
supervised consumption sites in Surrey," said Provincial Health
Officer Dr. Perry Kendall. "Supervised consumption services save
lives, and provide opportunities to engage with people, reverse
overdoses when they occur, connect people to treatment for their
addiction when they are ready, and ultimately reduce the number of
The two sites are scheduled to open in June following the completion
of renovations and staff training. Services at the site will include
the supervision of injection drugs and Fraser Health is also seeking
Health Canada approval for intra-nasal and oral substances, which
will be a first in Canada. Fraser Health will integrate both sites
into existing health services: one at Quibble Creek Sobering and
Assessment Centre, and another on 135A Street operated in
partnership with Lookout Emergency Aid Society, adjacent to Health
Solutions (the SHOP Clinic) and Front Room Drop-in.
"We carefully selected both sites based on data analysis that
indicated these areas have the highest rate of overdose deaths in
the region," said Fraser Health Chief Medical Health Officer Dr.
Victoria Lee. "Supervised consumption services are one component of
our overdose strategy that will support people in areas that have a
disproportionate number of overdoses, and today's exemption from
Health Canada will allow us to take a significant step forward in
engaging with this population."
Health authorities and
Christy Clark announce plans to open safe injection sites in Surrey
in August 2016.
Quibble Creek will provide supervised consumption services to
clients of the centre between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., seven days a week.
The location on 135A Street and will be operated in partnership with
Lookout Emergency Aid Society. Supervised consumption services will
be provided daily from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m., based on data analysis
which showed the greatest opportunity for impact.
Over the past several months, Fraser Health engaged in an extensive
consultation process which has included one-on-one meetings with key
stakeholders, two public information sessions, a web-based survey,
and interviews with people who use drugs. The site on 135A will be
called SafePoint - the result of consultation with the people who
are most likely to access services there.
"We are pleased to move forward with supervised consumption services
at SafePoint, and know that these services will go a long way in
making a difference to the lives of those on 135A Street," said
Shayne Williams, Executive Director for Lookout Emergency Aid
Society. "SafePoint staff will not only reverse overdoses, but will
help make meaningful connections with people seeking to access
health care and other supports."
In addition to offering supervised consumption services, both
locations will provide health care workers with opportunities to
connect people who use substances with health care and community
services. Both sites will continue to provide connections to
treatment, including medications to treat opioid addiction (suboxone
and methadone). Since services were enhanced at these locations in
January, 237 people have started on their road to recovery (as of
"Supervised consumption services in Surrey will help save the lives
of some of the most vulnerable people in our community, while
supporting those who are ready to address their addiction with
connections to treatment services on their journey to recovery,"
said Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner.
Fraser Health's new supervised consumption services support 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.
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