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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — When Angele DesRoches and her colleagues at PEERS Alliance had been introduced as operators of Charlottetown’s new overdose prevention website, it marked a brand new stage in a 5 yr course of.
DesRoches and PEERS have been advocating for safer consumption providers in P.E.I. for the reason that want grew to become obvious round 2018.
When the province lastly introduced a location for the overdose prevention website in January, 22 months after committing cash to the challenge, PEERS despatched in a proposal. And on Feb. 6, they signed the one-year contract to function an OPS at 33 Belmont St.
“It’s been a little bit of a whirlwind, signing the settlement,” DesRoches mentioned in a Feb. 9 SaltWire Community interview.
“I haven’t had that chance to essentially replicate, however simply realizing how this information goes to be acquired by our individuals is such a constructive step in the fitting course.”
The settlement consists of common reporting on shopper numbers, overdose reversals and year-end suggestions for future operations. The group can even proceed to take suggestions from the general public, DesRoches mentioned.
“Ongoing neighborhood engagement goes to be a foundational a part of our plan, and so we look ahead to ensuring there’s a really clear, clear communication course of for neighborhood members who wish to share info.”
Hurt discount co-ordinator
Shawn Martin, the Chief Public Well being Workplace’s hurt discount co-ordinator, led a pair of displays and query and reply classes for residents close to 33 Belmont St. on Feb. 8.
Martin defined how the supervised consumption service works for somebody who reveals up on the door.
First off, the OPS doesn’t present medicine.
The authorized exemption permits folks to make use of on the premises, however they nonetheless need to get hold of substances elsewhere. Martin spoke extensively concerning the influence fentanyl has had in making the unregulated road provide extra harmful.
“Opioid-related harms are nothing new. It’s been with us in Canada, North America for a while. Sadly, fentanyl’s been a sport changer,” he mentioned. “More and more, we see illicit fentanyl. Which means black market fentanyl being made, consumed, and that’s what is driving the overwhelming majority of overdose deaths.”
Due to this, drug checking service is out there to examine for fentanyl, benzodiazepines — anti-anxiety drugs similar to Xanax or Valium — and different substances a shopper could not need, he mentioned.
Purchasers begin out in a ready room earlier than going to the supervised consumption space. Right here, sections of the room can be separated with a chair, desk, mirror and lamp. After utilizing, purchasers will go to the post-consumption space to ensure nothing goes unsuitable, Martin mentioned.
This coaching for workers can be substantial and a number of other new folks can be employed to fill the roles, DesRoches mentioned.
This can embrace a two-person administration staff, a full time neighborhood navigator and neighborhood help employees, she mentioned.
“These (final) people can be accountable for staffing key areas of contact with individuals, so staffed consumption and staffed help for drug checking providers, staffed consumption space and staffed post-consumption space.”
Logan MacLean is a reporter with the SaltWire Community in Prince Edward Island. He might be reached by e-mail at [email protected] and adopted on Twitter @loganmaclean94.