Wednesday, June 7, 2017
First of Surrey's "Safepoint" injection site opens
Fraser Health Authority
The interior of SafePoint, Fraser Health's first supervised consumption site, located on 135A Street in Surrey.
raser Health opened the first of two supervised consumption sites in Surrey at Unit 2 – 10681 135A Street, June 6, with the second one opening next week. The sites will help reverse overdoses and connect people to treatment services in an area that has seen one of the highest overdose rates throughout the public health emergency.
"The opening of supervised consumption sites in Surrey is a great example of hard work and collaboration between many community partners who have dedicated countless hours to bringing these services to fruition," said Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall. "The overdose crisis has claimed many sons, daughters, partners, and friends, and supervised consumption services will help reduce the number of people in our community dying due to overdose while providing opportunities to connect people with treatment."
Operated in partnership with the Lookout Emergency Aid Society, SafePoint on 135A Street will open this Thursday. SafePoint will provide an area for people to inject substances under supervision, and Fraser Health is also seeking Health Canada approval to provide supervised consumption of oral and intra-nasal substances – a first in Canada. SafePoint is located adjacent to Health Solutions (the SHOP Clinic) and the Front Room Drop-in Centre. A second Surrey site, located at Quibble Creek Sobering and Assessment Centre, is scheduled to open next week.
"We know these areas of Surrey have been particularly impacted by the public health emergency, which is why we are implementing supervised consumption services as part of our regional overdose strategy," said Fraser Health Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Victoria Lee. "Because these services are integrated with existing health services, we will also have opportunities to support people in beginning treatment when they are ready to address their addiction."
At SafePoint, supervised consumption services will be provided daily from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. A data analysis indicated that these hours of operation are the times when people who use substances are most likely to overdose in this area. Quibble Creek will provide supervised consumption services exclusively to clients of the centre between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., seven days a week.
In addition to offering supervised consumption services, SafePoint and Quibble Creek Sobering and Assessment Centre staff will seek to connect people who use substances with health care and community services. Both sites will continue to provide connections to substance use treatment, including medications to treat opioid addiction (Suboxone and methadone). Since services were enhanced at these locations in January, more than 300 people have started treatment. \
"The opening of supervised consumption services at SafePoint is a significant milestone for the 135A Street community, and I know these services will help make a difference to the people who use substances here," said Shayne Williams, Executive Director for Lookout Emergency Aid Society. "Our staff will play an important role in not only reversing potentially fatal overdoses, but in connecting people with health care and other supports that could lead to positive life changes."
Since December, Fraser Health has engaged in extensive consultation with key stakeholders as part of our application to Health Canada. The process included one-on-one meetings with community partners, two public information sessions, a web-based survey, and interviews with people who use drugs.
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"Supervised consumption services in Surrey will play an important role in preventing fatal overdoses from occurring, while supporting people who are ready to begin their road to recovery with connections to treatment services," 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, opioid addiction treatments such as Suboxone and 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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The Federal Government released the following information June 5, 2017:
Adapt Pharma Clarifies Confusion Between NARCAN Nasal Spray and Injectable Naloxone Emergency Opioid Treatments
dapt Pharma Canada, producers of NARCAN (naloxone HCl) Nasal Spray 4 mg, a medication used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, wants to clarify any confusion surrounding recent news reports that incorrectly identify other forms of naloxone treatments as NARCAN Nasal Spray, such as injectable naloxone administered with a needle.
NARCAN is the brand name of the naloxone HCI Nasal Spray 4mg distributed by Adapt Pharma globally. More than 25,000 units have been shipped to over 75 first responders, emergency healthcare officials and harm reduction sites across Canada, including all front-line RCMP officers, over the past six months.
Some recent news reports and product photos have incorrectly identified NARCAN Nasal Spray as the injectable application of naloxone (also known as intramuscular or injectable treatment) which requires a syringe and needle. NARCAN Nasal Spray has also been misidentified as the needle-based naloxone treatment that has been retrofitted with nasal atomizers.
NARCAN Nasal Spray is a ready-to-use, needle-free device that does not require any assembly and no medical training. While not a substitute for appropriate medical care, NARCAN Nasal Spray delivers a dose of 4mg of naloxone in a concentrated 0.1 ml spray to temporarily reverse an overdose in emergency situations.
"NARCAN Nasal Spray was designed to be easily handled by non-medical personnel, including police officers, firefighters, and friends and family of overdose victims," said David Renwick, General Manager, Adapt Pharma Canada. "It helps ensure that those who are often the first people on the scene of an overdose can deliver naloxone in a simple, quick and effective way."
One of the first emergency measures came from the federal health minister, who signed an Interim Order on July 6, 2016 authorizing the immediate importing and availability of NARCAN (naloxone HCl) Nasal Spray 4 mg. NARCAN Nasal Spray is currently available in Canada without a prescription. It is the only intranasal version of naloxone available in Canada. Naloxone is also available in Canada as an injection.
The use of opioids has been noted by the Government of Canada as a serious and growing crisis. Opioid overdoses are rising with the combination of prescription opioids (Canada is the second largest consumer globally of legal opioids after the United States) and the flood of illicitly-manufactured and highly potent opioids, such as fentanyl, entering the country.
British Columbia declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency in April 2016. Alberta has also been hit hard; there were almost 20,000 emergency and urgent care visits related to opioids and other substances of misuse between January 1, 2014 and September 30, 2016.
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