Pubdate: Fri, 25 Nov 2016
Source: Kamloops This Week (CN BC)
Copyright: 2016 Kamloops This Week
Author: Dale Bass
Page: A10


A mobile supervised drug-use service is being considered for

Locations and stops would be determined based on overdose and
substance-use data, as well as feedback from those who would use it.

The Interior Health Authority wants feedback from the public. Input
can be submitted online at Search for "Supervised
Consumption Services," which is located under Medical Health Officers
under the "About Us" tab.

Feedback must be submitted by Dec. 15.

Health Minister Terry Lake said the service is needed because it saves
lives. In all of 2015, Kamloops had seven overdose deaths. By the end
of October this year, there had been 31 such deaths.

In addition to addressing overdoses, Lake said the service may also
reduce the risk of transmitting infection diseases like HIV and
hepatitis C.

"They could be of great benefit to Kamloops and Kelowna and any
community high-risk population," Lake said.

A mobile clinic and one located on Leon Avenue in Kelowna are being
considered for the Lake City.

Opting for a mobile clinic would be a way to reach more than one area
of the city, according to the health authority.

It plans to talk with people who use drugs and others who are involved
in services to drug users to identify potential locations.

The IHA has not applied for an exemption from Health Canada that would
allow it to operate supervised drug sites. A decision will be made
after data, operational considerations and public feedback are reviewed.

The IHA is also talking with business associations and the

Kamloops council has already given its support to the health
authority, advocating for two drug-use sites - on he North and South

Lake said a mobile unit would accomplish that.

Royal Inland Hospital emergency room Dr. Ian Mitchell has seen the
impact of such a service.

He was working at St. Paul's Hospital on Vancouver when the supervised
drug-use site Insite opened on the Downtown Eastside. He said the
number of overdoses treated at the Burrard Street hospital declined
almost immediately.

Mitchell said there's other value to the service because it can help
lead drug users into rehabilitation programs.

Lake has also announced the Chinese ministry of public safety and RCMP
will be working together to address the flow of fentanyl - which has
been found in a majority of drug-overdose deaths - from coming to Canada.

China is also working with Ottawa to designate the ingredients used to
create fentanyl as controlled substances.

Lake called the agreement a critical step in addressing the overdose
situation in the province, one provincial medical officer of health
Dr. Perry Kendall has declared a medical emergency.
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