The overdose prevention site in Duncan just passed the one-year milestone and has seen more than 12,000 visits since last September.

When the site first opened, it was on Canada Avenue and saw less than 30 visits a month, now it’s not uncommon for staff to see more than one hundred visits a day at the Trunk Road location.

Medical Health Officer Shannon Waters says the overdose prevention site in Duncan is saving lives.

“There has been a total of 120 overdoses at that site, all managed at the site,” said Waters. “Usually they can be managed with oxygen and someone helping to rouse the individual. That works out to an average of ten overdoses a month at that site and there have been no deaths.”

Waters says the same cannot be said for drug users who don’t use the service.

“These overdose prevention sites are valuable in saving lives, there is still a significant population that we’re not connecting with, who aren’t going to overdose prevention sites,” said Waters. “Deaths are still occurring from overdoses in people that are using alone.”

Waters added, “We want to strengthen the community tables where we’re talking about what the impact is.”

Island Health is evaluating overdose prevention sites in Duncan, Campbell River, Courtenay, and Port Alberni.