Supervised inhalation sites take surprising forms in B.C. amid challenges setting them up – CBC

Call for more sites as smoking continues to be the mode of consuming drugs that most often leads to death

Apr 28, 2023

A glass enclosure that looks like a bus stop. A repurposed ice-fishing tent in a car park.

While they might look trivial in the face of a mounting toxic drug crisis, these consumption sites designed for smoking substances are saving lives, overdose prevention workers say — and are doing so despite the financial and bureaucratic challenges setting them up.

Almost 5,000 people have died from toxic drugs in British Columbia in the past two years alone, according to the provincial coroners’ service.

At least half of them were smoking the substances that killed them — and that proportion is growing, says Jordan Stewart, executive director of the Pounds Project.

The overdose prevention service in Prince George, B.C., currently offers supervised injection services, and Stewart says it now has support for an outdoor space that includes a small shed dedicated to smoking. When established, it will be the first official supervised inhalation site in the city in two years.

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