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)

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

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist, an independent pharmacy in Toronto, Monday, April 19, 2021. Younger Canadians in several provinces are now able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
AstraZeneca vaccine appointments fill up fast on Vancouver Island

More pharmacies expected to be added as supply increases

More sleeping cabins for the homeless in the Cowichan Valley could soon be put in place if a $2.5-million grant application to the UBCM Strengthening Communities’ Services funding program is successful. (File photo)
Funding sought to expand homeless initiatives in Cowichan Valley

$2.5-million grant would see more sleeping cabins and outreach projects

The old Stanley Gordon school in Lake Cowichan. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette file)
Editorial: Old school properties represent potential for our areas

There are opportunities, often sitting right in the middle of our small communities.

Sweet gum trees like this one in City Square will be replaced over the next three years. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan plans big tree replacement project for downtown

Sweet gums in City Square and along Station Street will go over the next three years

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP, investigating explosion in Harewood, also came across an alcohol still on the property

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. sees 1,006 COVID-19 cases Thursday, ‘alarming’ 502 in hospital

Vaccine bookings for people aged 60 and older set to start

Shannon Zirnhelt, from left, her son Lockie, 3, Julia Zirnhelt, 13, and Ella Krus, 13, co-founders of Third Planet Crusade are featured in a music video set to air on Earth Day, April 22, 2021. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
VIDEO: B.C.-made music video launched in time for Earth Day 2021

Singer songwriter Shannon Zirnhelt worked with Third Planet Crusade on the project in the Cariboo

Ambulance crews have been busy with a record number of emergency overdose calls this Wednesday, April 21. (BC Emergency Health Services)
B.C. paramedics responded to a record 138 overdose calls in a single day

Wednesday’s calls included 48 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and 51 in Fraser Health

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. COVID-19 hotspots targeted as AstraZeneca vaccine runs low

17,000 appointments booked the first day for people aged 40 and up

B.C. Ferries’ sixth Island-class vessel launches at Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania. The ship is the second of two that will service the Nanaimo-Gabriola Island route starting in 2022. (Photo submitted)
Second hybrid ferry for Nanaimo-Gabriola route launched overseas

Island-class vessel will enter service in 2022

Dresses hang outside Nelson city hall as part of the REDress Project by Métis artist Jaime Black. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
B.C. red dresses symbolizing missing, murdered Indigenous women vandalized a 2nd time

Nelson’s REDress Project was vandalized along with an outdoor installation on Vancouver Island

A nurse loads a syringe with a vaccine for injection at the Victoria Clipper Terminal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout not enough to bring back normal life by fall: report

Only 51% of the population will be protected under B.C.’s current rollout, SFU professors say more vaccinations are needed to achieve herd immunity

Most Read