Clients at the Powell Street Getaway supervised consumption site can now use illegal substances through snorting or swallowing, as well as by injection, now that Health Canada has approved it.
Powell Street Getaway had been allowing supervised injection since July.
Two harm reduction workers and one licensed practical nurse supervise clients and monitor for signs and symptoms of an overdose, teach clients safer injection practices, and refer clients to other health care services such as substance use treatment and counselling.
The Powell Street Getaway (528 Powell Street) is a drop-in centre for people living with mental health and substance use challenges, funded by VCH and managed by Lookout Housing + Health Society, that offers connections and access to health services, life skill opportunities, leisure activities, social functions and food programs.
This is the first such exemption granted within Vancouver Coastal Health, and the second such exemption granted in Canada. Fraser Health recently received an exemption to allow oral and nasal substances at its two supervised consumption sites in Surrey. VCH will now be applying to Health Canada to allow oral and nasal supervision at Insite, and Dr. Peter Centre intends to do so as well.
For more information about substance use and overdose prevention services visit www.vch.ca/overdose.