Mobile Overdose Prevention Unit coming soon to Kelowna

A mobile overdose prevention unit is slated to hit the streets of Kelowna in late March. 

Dr. Trevor Corneil, chief medical officer with Interior Health, says a prevention unit is not a supervised injection site.

He says it begins with engaging with people - then providing services like needle exchange and needle drop-off.

"And then engagement in early intervention counselling to discuss options for treatment. One can layer into that, allowing people to use in safer place and provide support that we're already providing with regards to outreach out on the street," he says. 

Interior Health has also increased distribution of naloxone kits, to counter the effects of an illicit drug overdose, and Dr. Corneil says judging by the number of kits being returned for refill - lives are being saved. 

He says they've distributed about 1,800 overdose prevention kits in the Interior Health Region and about 15 to 20% have been returned for replacement.