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Nanaimo overdose advisory issued; call for more services

A drug poisoning and overdose advisory has been issued for the City of Nanaimo. 

Island Health says overdoses are on the rise, and there is a high risk for those injecting or inhaling opioids or stimulants. 

The health authority also wants to see a new overdose prevention and safe use site in the city. 

Earlier today, it issued a request for proposals, for expanded services to meet the high demand due to the overdose crisis and Covid pandemic.

In a news release, Island Health said “As part of the RFP process, proponents must include a strategy for referring people to health care, harm reduction and treatment services and social supports when clients are ready for additional engagement. Proponents must also address location criteria and include a plan for community engagement and mitigation to proactively address any concerns through open dialogue and community involvement. Island Health is committed to providing life-saving services at OPS sites while mitigating potential impacts on neighbourhoods and communities.”

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Island Health funds seven OPS sites across Vancouver Island for public access as well as several OPS rooms and Housing Overdose Prevention and Peer Services (HOPPS) teams that provide overdose prevention services in supportive housing sites for residents on the south island. Island Health collaborates with people with lived experience, service providers, local Community Action Teams, municipalities and police units to develop services that meet people where they’re at.

The RFP can be viewed on BC Bid at The deadline for submissions is February 15, 2022 and the contract will be awarded following review and negotiation with successful proponents.

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