Interior Health Pauses Launch of Safe Inhalation Site in Nelson

Interior Health new

As reported last Friday, the launch of a third overdose prevention site in Nelson has been put on pause to fix logistics important to both the community and city.

That from Interior Health as the old Vernon Street Clubhouse location was set to see safe inhalation services begin that Friday evening, May 12th. The project by Interior Health is in partnership with ANKORS and the Rural Empowered Drug Users Network.

Executive Director of Clinical Operations Lannon De Best explains what sets this overdose prevention site apart from others in Nelson:

“The current two sites that exist only provide overdose prevention for those that inject their drugs and at the moment there is no fixed space where those that inhale their drugs can go to be supervised.”

The Bounce Radio Newsroom asked De Best about public consultation and whether this location and start date were top of mind when engaging with both the city and community:

“This was not always the intended location. There has been efforts to identify an ideal location for quite some time and the clubhouse location was sought once there were no other alternatives available to our planning team. Our start date had always been flexible; we were and still aim to implement this service as quickly as we possibly can, recognizing the importance of having a service that will save lives.”

“We met with city council, we had two opportunities to meet with members of the public in a variety of settings. We also participated this week in notifying residents via a door-to-door mail campaign.”

A discussion at last week’s Nelson City Council meeting heard that nearby residents and businesses had received just 48-hours notice of plans to open the facility last Friday.

De Best adds that he isn't aware of zoning infringements but IHA is working to ensure that fencing is up to code with the city.