Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside will be home to B.C.’s first overdose prevention site for women only through a partnership with BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre, Atira Women’s Resource Society, the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Coastal Health.
The overdose prevention site, located at SisterSpace, 135 Dunlevy Avenue, opened its doors on May 15, 2017. The site can accommodate up to 15 women at a time to inject illicit substances and be monitored in a safe environment. It is open daily from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.
“We’re honoured to be a part of this partnership to bring a women-only space where women can feel safe. Women are then comfortable to access the primary care services they need to manage illnesses and prevent disease due to barriers such as stigma, violence, poverty and racism,” says Edwina Houlihan, interim chief operating officer, BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre. “We hope the safe non-judgmental environment will empower women to get the support and care they need to lead healthy lives.”
We are currently experiencing an overdose crisis and providing a women-only space for safe injections will tremendously impact health outcomes and allow women to feel safe in order to access the proper care they require.
Trained staff from Atira
is available to oversee the site and administer Naloxone, and a nurse practitioner from BC Women’s will provide primary care services such as chronic disease management, pregnancy testing and screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.