LETTER - Overdose prevention room at AIDS Vancouver Island saves lives on a regular basis

LETTER – Overdose prevention room at AIDS Vancouver Island saves lives on a regular basis

Dear editor,

Kudos to the staff member at London Drugs who was instrumental in bringing back the person who had overdosed in the washroom by using a Naloxone kit.

The high profile of the story brings to light the importance of naloxone in saving lives.

However, this was just one story. This scenario is played out on an almost daily basis in the overdose prevention room (OPR) at the office of AIDS Vancouver Island (AVI) on Sixth Street. The caring and compassionate workers there offer a safe and non-judgmental environment in which persons with addiction issues can use their drug of choice knowing that if their drug is tainted, or too strong, help is close by.

What is also close by is counseling to make a change in their life. Anyone using the washroom for more than five minutes is checked on for a response every five minutes to prevent harm and provide assistance if needed.

The workers at AVI are committed to harm reduction and are dedicated to those persons to whom life has dealt a difficult hand.

So we say kudos also to those unsung heroes at AVI who, without publicity or acknowledgment, save lives, offer help, a smile and a cup of coffee.

Jeannine and Chris Taylor

Courtenay