Drug consumption, overdose prevention site opens in Fort St. John

A site for supervised drug consumption and overdose prevention began this week at the new Fort St. John Health Services Centre.

The plan is for regular hours to be Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 10067 100th Ave. The hours may be subject to stat holidays.

“Given the arrival of cold weather we recognized the importance of establishing these two services – the indoor OPS and warming centre – as soon as possible,” said Angela De Smit, Northern Health’s chief operating officer.

“A significant amount of work has gone into making that a reality, and I’m grateful for the effort of the team has put into launching the services. We’re looking forward to the continued development of the Community Health Services Centre, and the contribution it will make to better health outcomes in our community,” she added.

Services at the centre include an indoor substance use space, enclosed outdoor inhalation area, referrals to treatment options and harm reduction, and staffing consisting of an intensive case management team, registered nurses, mental health and substance use clinicians, life skills workers, and others.

Additional services may be added and future renovations are expected as the health centre continues to develop.

Tom Summer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Alaska Highway News