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Island Health adding motion sensors in washrooms to monitor toxic drug poisoning

Island Health is running trials in the Comox Valley and Nanaimo to turn washrooms into spaces that can support staff with monitoring toxic drug poisonings.

These trials involve the installation of motion detection sensors, with the goal to use these sensors in washrooms identified as high-risk spaces for toxic drug poisoning.

The sensors also monitor how long someone has been in the washroom, and if the person hasn’t moved in a minute, or it has been 10 minutes since entering the washroom, a notification text is sent to responders who will follow up on the situation.

Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Jennifer Whiteside says they know the shame and stigma of addictions have driven people to use alone.

“Our government is working to break down the shame and stigma of addictions as we continue to expand and evolve our response to the toxic drug crisis,” says Whiteside.

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Trials started running in Courtenay back in October at both a Mental Health and Substance Use services site and the Comox Valley Nursing Centre, with Nanaimo expected to start trials in the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

According to Island Health, the trials are scheduled to run a minimum of three months.

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