ASK Wellness pleased with new mobile overdose prevention site

By Chad Klassen
June 19, 2017 - 5:30pm

KAMLOOPS — Nearly two weeks since Interior Health and ASK Wellness launched a mobile overdose prevention services between the north and south shores and ASK Wellness is pleased with the results. 

However, the non-profit is still anticipating Health Canada's approval of a supervised consumption site in Kamloops. 

The overdose prevention site — run out of a motorhome purchased by Interior Health — has been an extension of what ASK Wellness has been doing for the last year since the opioid crisis took off.

Those involved say having an overdose prevention site that shares time between ASK Wellness on Tranquille Road and the Crossroads Inn on Seymour Street has been effective.

"I think it's been a great way to start, where it hasn't been bombarded with people actively want to use drugs on site," said ASK Wellness executive director Bob Hughes. "So I think it's allowed [Interior Health] to work out the kinks. It's been an incredible partnership." 

As positive as the mobile service has been, the hope is for a safe consumption site. Interior Health still needs Health Canada to approve its operation. However, even with that, Hughes doesn't see the crisis slowing down. 

"I don't think it's going to go away," he said. "We've got more and more people living with chronic pain. We have more availability of synthetic opiates. This is something we're going to have to live with, and ways we can try to swim up river, such as doing drug-testing I think is going to be really important for those recreational drug users."

Hughes added, "we're going to have to look at more aggressive research and efforts into ways to help people come off of opiate dependency."

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