Shayne Williams is executive director of Lookout Emergency Aid Society, which runs the SafePoint supervised consumption site on 135A Street. (Photo: Amy Reid)

Zero deaths, 20,000 visits to Surrey’s safe injection site since opening

Fraser Health says nearly 1,000 people have accessed services at site on 135A Street

  • Dec. 7, 2017 12:00 a.m.

SURREY — Fraser Health says Surrey’s SafePoint safe injection site on 135A Street has had nearly 20,000 visits since opening on June 8.

“There have been 19,969 visits by 968 people who have accessed supervised consumption services,” said spokesperson Jacqueline Blackwell.

The health authority says, on average, each person has visited 21 times.

During that time, Blackwell noted 275 overdoses have been reversed, with zero deaths.

See more: VIDEO: A first look inside SafePoint, Surrey’s safe consumption site

SafePoint was the first safe consumption site in the Fraser Health region since the spike in overdose deaths last year.

Inside there are seven booths, in which drug users can safely inject their drugs under the supervision of nurses and other staff.

A second supervised consumption site was approved in Surrey at the 94A Street Quibble Creek Sobering Centre.

While B.C. has hit a record number of illicit overdose deaths this year, not a single fatality has been reported at supervised consumption sites.

In all, 1,013 people in B.C. have died as a result of the overdose crisis in 2017, which is 83 more than the total death toll in all of 2016.

The B.C. Coroners Service says 88.5 per cent of all drug overdose deaths happened inside and 11 per cent outside or in vehicles.

See also: Average of 15 die of overdose each month in Surrey

See also: More than 1,000 people have died as a result of the overdose crisis in 2017

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In Surrey, an average of 15 people have died of overdose each month in 2017.

In all, 123 people have been killed by illicit drugs in the city so far this year, as of the end of August.

The death toll in Surrey peaked in May, with 21 deaths that month.

Thirteen people died in January, 15 in February, 14 in March, 12 in April, 13 in June, 17 in July and 18 in August.

Surrey’s drug death toll this year is second only to Vancouver, which has seen 255 people killed so far this year.

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