Island Health has Nanaimo location for temporary Overdose Prevention Site

Region’s Chief Medical Health Officer supports the pop-up injection site by City Hall

The Vancouver Island Health Authority has announced where it plans to have overdose prevention services, at least on a temporary basis, in Nanaimo.

It will be at their Island Health building at 526 Wentworth Street.

The Health Authority says this will be a temporary location, and a better longer term solution is needed, but this location will be the most expedient in the short term.

Island Health already has Mental Health and Addiction Services here and the Health Authority says it will still take two to six weeks to add overdose prevention services.

“As we move forward, as quickly as possible, we may identify things that slow down the process,” says the Regional Cheif Medical Health Officer Dr. Paul Hasselback. “Hopefully we don’t.”

Dr. Hasselback also supports the pop up site near city hall. While it’s not licensed he calls it “harm reduction in action.” He says, “Risk can be minimized but it can’t be eliminated” and that’s what’s happening at the pop up injection site.

Last night Nanaimo City Council voted to leave the pop up site by City Hall until Island Health has opened a licensed location.