Categories: HomeLocal NewsNews

Vernon politicians not all happy about possible OD prevention site

An effort to save lives from overdose is getting considerable backlash in Vernon.

Interior Health representatives shared plans for an Overdose Prevention Site to open in the summer or fall of 2019.

“It’s not a yes or no whether we will be offering overdose prevention services,” said Rae Samson, Interior Health administrator.

Following the 2016 state of emergency that was issued due to the opioid crisis, the Minister of Health has ordered that such services be provided where there is a need.

“We do know that Vernon is the third most impacted municipality in Interior Health,” said Karin Goodison, medical health officer with IH.

She points to statistics for Vernon alone which show 23 overdose deaths in 2017, 24 in 2018 and three people already in 2019.

READ MORE: Vernon overdose prevention site a priority: Interior Health

Taking a look at the larger picture, 2008 saw 183 people die from overdoses in B.C. and that has increased in a 10-year time frame to over 1,500 people, says Goodison.

“The cause of this is the presence of a poison…fentanyl,” she told Vernon council Monday afternoon.

While there has been a lot of work done in the past, almost three years now, since the state of emergency was declared, it is only being stabilized.

“We are far from being able to say we’ve got this under control,” said Goodison.

A request for proposals will soon be posted on B.C. Bid for parties with experience on operating an overdose prevention site.

“While Interior Health will provide funding and oversight, the overdose prevention site will be operated by a community partner,” according to an Interior Health press release Monday. “Establishing an overdose prevention site in Vernon is an important addition to the continuum of health-care services for people with opioid use disorders. Other components include Opioid Agonist Treatments (such as methadone and Suboxone), intensive day and residential treatment programs, distribution of harm reduction supplies including Naloxone, and supportive recovery services.”

However, some Vernon politicians are not happy about it.

READ MORE: Overdose training challenge picks up in Vernon

A voice in the location is what Coun. Brian Quiring demands.

“We are the elected officials of the community, and we are cut out of the communication. And what can we do about it? Nothing. We have no input into where it goes at all.”

His suggestion that Vernon gets a say in potential locations is one Samson will be requesting.

“Our intention isn’t to disrupt the community, our intent is to work with the community,” said Goodison.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Jennifer Smith

Share
Published by
Jennifer Smith

Recent Posts

  • Home
  • News

Sunshine Foundation DreamLift trip won’t take off from Kelowna, fundraiser cancelled

Papa John’s ‘Dreams for Kids Day’ fundraiser to be rebranded

36 mins ago
  • Community
  • Home

Rail Trail use ramps up over long weekend

“As thrilled as we are with the popularity of this recreational addition to our community, we kindly ask that users…

46 mins ago
  • Canada & World
  • News

Boy Scouts could be hit with more sex abuse claims

States have been adjusting their statute-of-limitations laws so that victims of long-ago sexual abuse can sue

1 hour ago
  • Entertainment
  • Home2

Rising country stars to perform at South Okanagan festival

Black Mountain Whiskey Rebellion opens for Emerson Drive on PeachFest country night

1 hour ago
  • Home2
  • News

South Okanagan beer takes gold in best label competition

The competition was presented by Westkey for the Great Okanagan Beer Festival

1 hour ago
  • Canada & World
  • News

Canada, international allies butt heads over focus on white supremacism

Freeland she singled out white supremacy as the greatest security threat facing the world

1 hour ago