The Yukon government says plans for the territory's first supervised consumption site are underway.
The facility is set to be in downtown Whitehorse at 6189 Sixth Ave., a location the government says is accessible and will meet client's needs.
Supervised consumption sites are safer and more supportive spaces for people to bring their own drugs to use with trained health professionals around. These type of facilities have saved lives and prevented accidental overdoses, while reducing the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV.
The downtown building is already government owned, according to a news release sent Wednesday, and is being renovated to meet the needs of a supervised consumption site.
In the coming weeks, the territorial government says it will engage with residents, local businesses, First Nations governments and non-governmental organizations about the new facility and its importance.
Ongoing opioid crisis
Yukon is currently experiencing an opioid crisis. Since 2016, Yukon has had 44 opioid-related deaths, with 33 that included fentanyl.
"Opening a supervised consumption site builds on our government's efforts to combat the opioid crisis and support Yukoners through a harm reduction approach," said Tracy-Anne McPhee, minister of health and social services, in the release.
Yukon will be the sixth jurisdiction in Canada to open a supervised consumption site, joining British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta, Québec and Saskatchewan.