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The Overdose Crisis: Where to Next? A Community Symposium

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The Westerly Hotel

1590 Cliffe Avenue

Courtenay, BC V9N 2K4

Canada

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AVI and the Community Action Initiative (CAI) would like to invite community members to a symposium on Overdose Prevention and Response. It has been over a year since BC declared a public health emergency due to the number of people dying from accidental overdoses. Despite the best efforts of many, more than 1600 people have died in BC since January 1st 2016, 254 of them on Vancouver Island.

So what needs to happen now? Important work is continuing across the Island with expanded access to overdose response services and more treatment options. The BC government is looking at “significant scale up of substance use treatment capacity that will be required to meet the need of those who experience problematic substance use”. The community also has an ongoing role to play especially those who have been most impacted by the crisis, people who use illicit drugs and their families. This symposium will provide community members and service providers with an opportunity to reflect on the crisis and to dialogue about the short and longer term actions needed to address this crisis.

AVI has been funded by the CAI to develop a Community Action Plan on Drug Overdose Prevention and Response for the Comox Valley. The first step in the development of this plan is a symposium where groups and individuals can come together to learn, hear, and honour the work being done to support and care for our communities. This will allow community members to look at some short and longer strategies that best meet the needs of people who use illicit drugs. We will work to build on the existing strengths in our different sectors and develop actions that are needed to meet the challenge of the overdose crisis.

The event will include presentations and small group discussions on the following:

  • The role of stigma

  • Policies and practices that help or hinder overdose prevention and response

  • Evidence based interventions on problematic substance use including treatment options and Opioid Substitution Therapy, and prescription heroin

  • Perspectives of people at risk of overdose and their families

  • Creating supportive environments for people who use illicit drugs

  • Facilitated small groups to determine the successes we have had and the areas that need to be addressed

We welcome any suggestions for further topics to explore at the symposium, as we would like this event to be as community-driven as possible

Lunch is provided. Please let us know about your allergies or dietary needs when you register.

Space is limited for this event. We welcome any community members, who are interested in participating, but priority will be given to people from Indigenous communities, organizations that are peer-driven, people who use illicit substances, parents and family members of people who are at risk of overdose and/or people who have lost family members to overdoses, frontline service organizations, and harm reduction based organizations.

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Date and Time

Location

The Westerly Hotel

1590 Cliffe Avenue

Courtenay, BC V9N 2K4

Canada

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