The overdose prevention site on Trunk Road will be in place for at least another year after Island Health signed a one-year lease with the Cowichan Valley branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association to run its services. (File photo)

Another year added to Duncan’s overdose prevention site

Island Health signs one-year lease with Canadian Mental Health Association

Duncan’s overdose prevention site will remain in operation for at least another year.

Island Health recently extended its lease on the site, located at 221 Trunk Rd., until Nov. 30, 2019.

The lease is with the Cowichan Valley branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, which was the only organization that answered Island Health’s request for proposals to run the overdose prevention site.

The CMHA is the existing service provider at the site, and has been providing the service since the facility first began in Duncan in September, 2017.

The overdose prevention site is intended to provide a place where people who use drugs can do so while be safely monitored and treated immediately if they overdose.

The site is part of the province’s response to the opioid overdose emergency that has gripped B.C. in recent years, and is one of nine that has opened on the Island since December, 2016.

Since the site, which originally operated at 714 Canada Ave. until it moved to Trunk Road in March, first opened, more than 18,000 clients have visited and zero deaths have occurred.

RELATED STORY: HUGE DEMAND SEES DUNCAN’S OVERDOSE PREVENTION SITE MOVING TO TRUNK ROAD

Island Health spokeswoman Lisa Murphy said that while the overdose prevention site was supposed to be temporary, there is still no end in sight for the ongoing opioid crisis.

RELATED STORY: NEW DUNCAN OVERDOSE PREVENTION SITE DRAWS PUBLIC DEBATE

“Our goal is focused on treating people who come to the site and avoid deaths, and also to link them to treatment to help them recover,” Murphy said.

“It’s a positive that the number of deaths as a result of overdoses have gone down considerably thanks to these sites.”

The new lease agreement states that the Canadian Mental Health Association is committed to a respectful, safe and secure operation of the OPS, and to fostering good neighbour relationships with those who live and work near this service.

This includes discouraging congregation in and around the site, and having staff security patrols during open hours and contracted security patrols when the OPS is closed.

Murphy acknowledged that there are still some community concerns with the site, including people congregating there and litter issues, but the site workers have been working diligently with its security and other partners to deal with them effectively.

“The site is still fairly new and we try to address concerns when we receive them,” she said.

“But we have found that some of these problems are attached to situations and people that are independent of our site.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shawnigan Hills parkrun report for Feb. 22

New record of 38 participants

Homelessness and affordability raised as major concerns in CVRD survey

But most CVRD residents content with quality of life

Arts and Entertainment column: From opera to jazz to burlesque, it’s all coming up in Cowichan

On the big screen at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, classic Porgy and Bess.

Second fire in as many weeks at Chemainus Secondary

UPDATE**2:10 p.m. students are being dismissed from school. “For those that take… Continue reading

WFP Mills in Cowichan Bay, Ladysmith still idle after strike

Western Forest Products claims log supply, markets to blame

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Most Read