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Vernon  

OD prevention site not set

City of Vernon council is no closer to knowing where Interior Health Authority will be placing an overdose prevention site, or OPS.

The authority gave council an update on their plans on Sept. 16.

"I don't have an answer on where it will be," said Colleen McEwan, health service administrator. But she did say they could have that nailed down by October.

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The work on plans for an OPS was paused in the spring so consultation with community stakeholders could occur.

Among the themes that arose from consultation were not clustering an OPS with other services, co-locating it with other services, basing it out of the hospital, not having it downtown and having it within a two-minute walk of downtown.

During the meeting, Coun. Scott Anderson expressed concern that IHA has not studied the social impact of an OPS in a community.

"The harm of it may potentially outweigh the benefit," he suggested.

The Health Authority countered that an OPS connects people to services, including treatment, while also leading to less public drug use and fewer discarded needles.

"It is one of the key interventions that saves lives. It is another door to treatment," said Dr. Karen Goodison, medical health officer.

— With files from Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce



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