Supervised consumption sites are not enough to curb deaths due to the opioid/fentanyl epidemic, according to Island Health central Vancouver Island’s medical health officer.

Island Health updates RDN on overdoses

Increase in drug-related deaths has everything to do with opioids, Island Health officer says

Supervised consumption sites are not enough to curb deaths due to the opioid/fentanyl epidemic, according to Island Health central Vancouver Island’s medical health officer.

In a Nov. 14 report on the region’s health, made to the Regional District of Nanaimo board, Dr. Paul Hasselback said there were about 45.5 deaths per 100,000, as of the end of September, as opposed to 26 per 100,000 for all of 2016, according to B.C. Coroners Service numbers.

Hasselback told the News Bulletin “there is no doubt” the numbers are due to the opioid crisis. Safe injection is saving lives and Hasselback said that a number of sites, including Nanaimo, have an overdose rate of about one per cent.

There is a multi-faceted approach to reducing the overdose situation, Hasselback said.

“It’s not good enough to have an overdose prevention site,” he said. “It needs to be linked in with support services access and pathways into treatment.”

Hasselback said housing plays a factor, as it is an integral part of the “therapeutic environment” and it is something that needs to be examined.

“In both parts of the regional district, Nanaimo and Oceanside, housing is at a critical need at this point in time and when we don’t have housing, we see increases in street-oriented individuals,” said Hasselback. “It’s got nothing to do with the overdose situation, it’s a housing crisis. The two seem to be happening coincidentally here.

“I see a lot of people wanting to blame it and that’s an inappropriate judgment and not an understanding of the challenges faced by overdoses, but on the other hand, we haven’t had really good conversations with the community relative to changes that happened on the treatment side, what follow up is occurring, it’d be a good conversation, but that’s not for today.”

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram.

Just Posted

Nanaimo is the next stop on ‘The Amazing Race Canada’

Episode will air on Tuesday, July 30 at 9 p.m. on CTV

Tourism Nanaimo invites celebrities to sample ‘real’ Nanaimo bars

Tourism organization creates video, invites actors Seth Rogen and Dan Levy to visit

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Lower age for B.C. e-bike riders

13-year-old letter writer asks politicians to look at trying to change the law

Pirates will play for pennant in home park

Mid Island sweeps road doubleheader Tuesday to set up Wednesday’s final regular-season games

Nanaimo man wanted Canada-wide after walking away from Victoria halfway house

Warrant issued for Jesse Goodale, convicted of aggravated assault

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

Nanaimo reaches senior B lacrosse semifinals

Re/Max Timbermen to face Coquitlam Adanacs in best-of-five series

Vancouver Island teacher suspended for professional misconduct

Grade 8 shop teacher admits to use of vulgar language and profanities toward students, parents

Northern B.C. double homicide, suspicious death: A timeline of what we know

Two teens from Port Alberni are now wanted Canada-wide in connection to the three deaths

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

Most Read