A naloxone kit. (Black Press Media file photo)

Island Health announces new overdose prevention service provider in Campbell River

New provider will look at increasing the number of people utilizing OPS in Campbell River which is one of the lowest on Vancouver Island

Campbell River will have a new overdose prevention services (OPS) provider on June 1, Island Health announced.

Vancouver Island Mental Health Society (VIMHS) will replace the existing OPS provider, AIDS Vancouver Island (AVI) which has served the community since 2017.

The contract was awarded to VIMHS in February after Island health requested proposals in 2019.

VIMHS will operate out of their Sobering and Assessment Centre at 1330 Dogwood Street.

Island health stated that a key goal in selecting a provider was to increase access to overdose prevention services for individuals who use substances privately and do not attend the OPS site and are therefore at the highest risk of overdose.

According to Island Health, the Sobering and Assessment Centre offers an opportunity to reach these high-risk individuals who do not engage with OPS services in Campbell River.

Dr. Charmaine Enns, medical health officer for North Island (VIHA), said that they were concerned about “low utilization” of OPS in Campbell River.

Statistically Campbel River’s OPS utilization was among the lowest on the Island as compared to neighbouring regions like Port Alberni where more than 450 people access OPS.

According to Enns, the utilization of OPS in Campbell River has been at an average of 48 people for a while, whereas the number of people that have been identified to use substances in Campbell River is close to 1,000.

“We have an obligation to increase the access to these services,” said Enns.

Earlier this week Island Health also announced an increase in the number of overdose cases in March on the Island during the pandemic.

READ MORE: Island Health issues advisory after spike in drug overdoses, Cowichan included

Meanwhile, AVI has indicated that as a result of discontinuing the OPS which was integrated into their harm reduction program, they will have to pull back from some of the services they offered, including supervised injections. AVI will also close the harm reduction drop-in space that provided overdose monitoring, education and support.

AVI will work along with Island Health to help existing clients transition and adjust to the new OPS provider in the coming weeks.

B.C. overdosesCampbell RiverIsland Health

Just Posted

Former Comox hospital turning into Vancouver Island’s first ‘dementia village’

Island Health inks deal to transform St. Joseph’s Hospital into groundbreaking $52.6 million facility

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Three people facing mischief charges after protests at Premier John Horgan’s home

Special prosecutor was appointed to avoid real or perceived undue influence

Eight people arrested on Pandora Avenue after enforcement order issued

Those living in homeless camps were given until May 20 to move indoors

Vancouver Island churches embrace technology to cope with pandemic

Technology helping faith communities connect

Ferry sailings scheduled once again at Nanaimo’s Departure Bay terminal

BC Ferries announces that resumption of service June 3 includes four daily round trips

‘A bottomless well of love for people and communities’

Parksville Qualicum Beach News editor JR Rardon dies at age 61

Dump truck in Nanaimo snags power lines, snaps hydro pole, crashes

No injuries in incident Monday morning on Old Victoria Road

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

No one injured in suspicious Victoria boat fire, say investigators

Victoria police and fire personnel called to blaze on waters near Selkirk Trestle May 22

Victoria dealer sells Batmobile replica at Arizona auction

Tim Quocksister sells Batmobile replica for $165,000 US at auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Most Read