SURREY (NEWS 1130) – Fraser Health says its SafePoint supervised consumption site in Surrey has become the first in the country to get Health Canada’s approval to allow nurses to supervise users who take drugs orally or through the nose.
BC’s top doctor, Perry Kendall, says expanding the number of substances that can be used at a supervised site will mean fewer overdoses and more lives saved. “In addition, staff at both sites will have greater opportunities to engage with people and connect them to treatment services when they are willing to access them.”
SafePoint opened on June 8th and has already seen more than 1,000 visits and about 200 people have accessed services with an average of 5.3 visits per person.
“During that time, 19 overdoses have been reversed, with zero deaths. Moreover, since January, nearly 400 people in Surrey have been connected to opioid agonist treatment, an approach which uses medications (suboxone and methadone) to treat opioid addiction,” says Fraser Health in a statement.
“While our primary concern is reversing overdoses and saving lives, we also know that supervised consumption sites can be a gateway to treatment and other necessary social and health care services for some of our most vulnerable people,” says the health authority’s Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Victoria Lee.
SafePoint is on 135 A Street and the Quibble Creek Sobering and Assessment Centre on 94A Avenue opened on June 20th.
SafePoint is open daily from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. while Quibble Creek is open 12 hours a day, seven days a week.