March 25, 2019 8:13 pm

Vernon overdose prevention site on the way

Interior Health is looking for a community partner to help establish an overdose prevention site in Vernon.

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Interior Health is hoping to have another overdose prevention site in the Okanagan up and running by this summer.

The health authority is currently looking for proposals from a community partner that would be able to deliver overdose prevention services in Vernon.

An overdose prevention site offers a designated space to monitor people who use drugs, ensuring that naloxone and other first aid is available in the event of an overdose. Unlike a supervised consumption site, it does not require an exemption from federal drug laws.

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READ MORE: Vernon could get overdose prevention site

A community partner would operate the site, but Interior Health would fund and oversee it.

Overdose prevention sites are usually judgement-free safe spaces that offer a continuum of services, including education, linking people to substance-use services, drug checking and the distribution of harm-reduction supplies, according to a news release from Interior Health.

READ MORE: Almost a quarter of Interior Health overdoses reported in Vernon

There are currently more than 30 overdose prevention and supervised consumption sites operating throughout the province.

Interior Health said these services can save lives, reduce needle sharing and provide opportunities to connect people with health-care services.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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