Richmond Will Look into Expanding Its Harm Reduction Services

published on February 14, 2024 by Michelle Gamage in The Tyee

Richmond city council held two rowdy nights of public hearings this week after tabling a motion on whether or not the city should look into bolstering its harm reduction services.

Late last night, council voted eight-two in favour of asking city staff to analyze the potential benefits and challenges of opening a supervised consumption site near Richmond Hospital, and collaborating with Vancouver Coastal Health to fund and provide harm reduction services on site.

On Wednesday VCH released a statement that said “based on the latest public health data, a stand-alone supervised consumption site is not the most appropriate service for those at risk of overdose in Richmond.” Stand-alone sites work best in communities with a high concentration of at-risk people.

There are more than 1,000 people with opioid use disorder and 600 people with stimulant use disorder in Richmond and 172 residents have died from toxic drug overdose since a public health emergency was declared in 2016, the statement added…

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