B.C. pilot project into overdose response finds heightened sense of community and empowerment

published on August 2, 2018 by Andrea Woo in The Globe & Mail

In her single-room occupancy hotel on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Samantha Pranteau said the calls for naloxone seemed constant.

As fentanyl poisoned the city’s heroin trade and overdoses mounted, she said she would hear someone shouting for the life-saving drug “daily, weekly.”

“There were times where there were no kits in the building at all,” Ms. Pranteau said, “and folks had to run out into the street or other places to find a kit and [the overdose victims] were left unattended while people were trying to find kits.”

Last summer, Ms. Pranteau participated in a pilot project led by the SRO Collaborative, a Downtown Eastside tenant advocacy group, and evaluated by B.C. Centre on Substance Use, aimed at addressing overdoses in single-room occupancy hotels, otherwise known as SROs.

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