WHALLEY — Surrey’s safe injection site may have already saved nearly a dozen lives, according to Fraser Health.
As of Tuesday (June 20), 135A Street’s SafePoint facility has reversed 11 overdoses since opening its doors on June 8.
So far, the site has had 652 visits by 156 people who use drugs, according to Fraser Health.
SafePoint is the first such site in the Fraser Health region since the spike in overdose deaths last year.
Province-wide, nearly 1,000 people died from overdosing last year, and of those, 108 were in Surrey. Another 51 people have died from overdosing in Surrey so far this year.
“Supervised consumption services play an important role in connecting a person to treatment, as well as other health care and community supports,” said spokeswoman Jacqueline Blackwell. “Since January, nearly 400 people have been connected to opioid agonist treatment in Fraser Health. This treatment that uses medications such as Suboxone and methadone to address a person’s addiction.”
Last Friday, Fraser Health received an exemption from Health Canada to begin providing supervised consumption services to clients of Quibble Creek Sobering and Assessment Centre.
“We were awaiting our exemption from Health Canada to provide supervised consumption services at Quibble Creek, which we received on Friday,” explained Blackwell. “Now that we have official approval from Health Canada, we are finalizing the installation of equipment at the site and expect clients of the centre will begin to access supervised consumption services there very shortly.”
Shayne Williams, executive director of Lookout Emergency Aid Society, inside the SafePoint safe consumption site on 135A Street.