More overdose prevention services coming to the Comox Valley

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COMOX VALLEY – New Democrat MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard welcomes a broadened model of overdose services to the Comox Valley that will be in place as of September 1, 2020.

“The overdose crisis has hit our community hard,” said Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox. “This new multi-pronged model of overdose prevention services (OPS) will meet people’s needs exactly where they are at.”

The new site will be co-located with Island Health’s Mental Health and Substance Use service at 941C England Avenue in Courtenay. On weekends, a more flexible service will be available to clients through outreach to homes, shelters and other facilities.

MLA Leonard said Island Health’s new model also features a Lifeguard App, a new made-in-BC resource now available across B.C. and in the Comox Valley. Lifeguard supports people when they use substances alone by alerting emergency responders and others in the immediate surroundings through an alarm if a person is unresponsive after using substances.

This new system of supports will better meet the diverse needs of people who use substances, and improve access for those who do not currently use fixed overdose prevention sites and remain at a high risk of overdose.

AIDS Vancouver Island Health and Community Services Society (AVI) has provided OPS in the Comox Valley since 2017 and will continue to do so at its current location and service hours until August 31, 2020. Leonard thanks AVI for their work in the community, providing life-saving services and supports.

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