Surrey’s SafePoint injection site has been a busy – albeit controversial – place since opening on the city’s infamous 135A Street one year ago.
When it opened on June 8, 2017, the safe consumption site was the first of its kind for the Fraser Health Authority, and the first in North America outside of downtown Vancouver.
- SEE ALSO: A first look inside SafePoint
Needless to say, it has stirred vigorous debate.
Take a quick glance at our Facebook page and you will see the strong opinions some people in our community hold about the site.
Some oppose it for the way the site seemingly“enables” drug users.
They just cannot fathom why we provide a place and free tools to help illegal drug users get high. Why don’t we help diabetics and supply them with the tools they need, these naysayers argue.
On the other end of the spectrum, many people look at SafePoint as a haven of empathy and compassion for people slogging through the misery and pain that comes with addiction.
Wherever you may fall on this issue, it’s hard to argue with the numbers.
In one year, 1,561 people have used the site, run by Lookout Housing and Health Society. It has seen 61,572 visits, with not a single death reported.
Furthermore, staff have reversed more than 620 overdoses and have helped almost 1,400 people connect to opioid antagonist treatments such as suboxone and methadone, since January 2017.
And that is truly something to celebrate.