“Our government is committed to doing whatever we can to address the overdose crisis, which has devastated too many families in our community and across B.C. It is so important to be able to target resources to the communities that have been hardest hit.Our community already has strong networks and organizations that have been working tirelessly on the ground, and these additional resources and tools will be critical in delivering a broad and proactive response to the crisis, saving lives.” – Mitzi Dean
Victoria is one of 18 B.C. communities that are getting an on-the-ground Community Action Team (CAT) and dedicated funding as part of the Province’s escalated response to the overdose crisis. The CAT is provided with an initial grant of funding of up to $100,000 to get it started, and may be eligible for future funding from a Community Crisis Response Grant, which is part of the government’s three-year, $322 million investment to address the overdose crisis.
The Victoria team will work with existing community partners and with the new Overdose Emergency Response Centre in Vancouver. The CAT will intervene early to deliver proactive and comprehensive care and support to people at risk of overdose.
The Community Action Team will focus on four areas of action to save lives and support people with addictions on a pathway to treatment and recovery:
- Expanding community-based harm-reduction services.
- Increasing the availability of naloxone.
- Addressing the unsafe drug supply through expanded drug-checking services and increasing connections to addiction-treatment medications.
- Proactively supporting people at risk of overdose by intervening early to provide services like treatment and housing.
The Community Action Teams are the latest in a series of initiatives already in place to respond to the overdose crisis. Other initiatives include:
- broader access to naloxone kits,
- expanding access to opioid substitution medications to treat opioid addiction,
- opening more overdose prevention and supervised consumption sites,
- expanding access to drug checking services,
- proactively identifying and supporting people at risk of overdose,
- and improving the system of treatment and recovery services.
Together, these initiatives will save lives, and ensure that people get the support and treatment they need, when they need it.