Staff supervise and monitor clients for signs and symptoms of an overdose at five booths, teaching clients safer drug use practices, and referring clients to other health care services such as substance use treatment and counselling. Clients can use substances via injection, snorting or swallowing.
The facility operates under a Health Canada exemption from prosecution under federal drug laws. The consumption service use a harm-reduction model, which means it strives to decrease the adverse health, social and economic consequences of drug use without requiring abstinence from drug use.
VCH provides clinical support and harm reduction supplies, while Lookout Housing and Health Society runs the site.
The service is located in the Powell Street Getaway, a drop-in centre for people living with mental health and substance use challenges, funded by VCH and managed by Lookout. The facility offers a safe space for clients to learn life skills such as vocational training, nutrition and harm reduction, and access psychosocial rehabilitation programs.