Health Canada has approved three new supervised consumption sites in British Columbia:
- Lookout Society Powell Street Getaway (Vancouver – Vancouver Coastal Health)
- Quibble Creek Sobering Assessment Centre (Surrey – Fraser Health)
- Lookout Society – 135A Street (Surrey – Fraser Health)
Under Bill C-37, the application process for new supervised consumption sites has been streamlined, allowing for local health authorities to be more responsive to the overdose crisis. By having sterile equipment, information, treatment options and referrals, and qualified staff available at these sites, fewer lives will be lost to overdoses.
New supervised consumption sites will also decrease the rate of infections and communicable diseases, and reduce some of the strain on emergency and hospital services. Consumption sites provide a safe, clean, and secure place for people to consume drugs, while reducing the visibility of consumption on the street.
Supervised consumption sites are part of the government’s broader harm reduction strategy and comprehensive, evidence-based approach to drug policy. International and Canadian evidence from cities like Vancouver shows that supervised consumption sites save lives without increasing drug use or crime in the surrounding area.
Vancouver Coastal Health’s Insite was North America’s first legal, supervised consumption site and has been an effective first step for users to get from addiction to care. With the announcement of three new supervised consumption sites in the Lower Mainland, the government is ensuring harm reduction will continue to be prioritized alongside prevention, treatment, and enforcement.