Mobile overdose prevention unit rolls out in Kelowna

Mobile overdose prevention unit rolls out in Kelowna

The unit will also provide enhanced harm reduction services including the distribution of naloxone

Kelowna’s mobile overdose prevention unit is rolling out today.

Interior Health sent out notice Wednesday morning that they will now be offering overdose prevention services in Kelowna using a mobile unit. The mobile unit replaces the current overdose prevention site at 1340 Ellis Street which is now closed and will stop at a downtown location and a Rutland location.

“The mobile overdose prevention unit will offer a place where people who use drugs can be safely monitored and treated if they overdose,” reads the statement from Interior Health.

“The unit will also provide enhanced harm reduction services including the distribution of naloxone and other harm reduction supplies as well as some primary health care services (wound care/ foot care etc.). A mobile overdose prevention unit differs from a supervised consumption site.”

Staff will not be supervising drug use in the mobile units until an exemption for a supervised consumption site is approved by Health Canada.

The initial stops have been selected as a starting point for a service that is anticipated to evolve over time based on community need, stakeholder input and evaluation outcomes. Interior Health will work together with community stakeholders to respond to concerns raised by businesses and the community. Community members with questions or feedback on the service are encouraged to visit the overdose prevention site page on the Interior Health website.

Overdose prevention sites are one of several strategies Interior Health has employed to respond to the overdose crisis. More information on Interior Health’s broader overdose response can be found on the Interior Health website.

The hours and locations for the service are as follows:

Downtown: 455 Leon Ave., Kelowna – parking lot behind Outreach Urban Health

Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Rutland: 125 Park Road, Rutland – side of the Rutland Community Dialysis Centre

Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 7 p.m. – 11: 30 p.m.