Supervised consumption services approved in Kamloops

By James Peters
July 19, 2017 - 11:12am Updated: July 19, 2017 - 3:44pm

KAMLOOPS — Health Canada has issued a historic approval of the first supervised drug consumption sites outside of major metropolitan areas, in Kamloops and Kelowna.

The only consumption sites previously approved by the agency are in Metro Vancouver and Montreal.

In Kamloops, the site will be mobile, set up in a motorhome that has acted as an overdose prevention site for the past several months.

Medical Health Officer Dr. Silvina Mema says Health Canada recognized the comprehensive engagement Interior Health undertook with the community before issuing its approval.

"Interior Health held numerous meetings with various stakeholders, ranging from RCMP to local municipalities, neighbours, and business associations. We needed them to understand the scope of the services and the need of the services in the community for this to be successful," said Mema. 

Mema adds the new services will be vigilantly monitored.

"Although the application for the mobile supervised consumption services has been approved, this does not mean the engagement stops. On the contrary, we continue to engage with the stakeholders that supported us throughout the process." 

41 people died due to illicit drug overdoses in Kamloops last year, one of the highest per-capita death rates in the province.

Cache Creek residents receiving food, supplies from United Way, food bank