18 people died in the Alberni Valley from drug overdoses in the past two years, giving Port Alberni one of the highest per capita drug death rates in the province.
Central Island Medical Health Officer Dr. Paul Hasselback says statistics have improved slightly over the past few months thanks to the overdose prevention site.
Hasselback says most heroin users knew how much to take, but the introduction of fentanyl has changed that, as some fentanyl analogues are 100 times more toxic than others.
He estimates there are 400 injection users in Port Alberni and 400 users of other illicit drugs.
200 have used the safe consumption site for a total of 4500 visits since it opened in May.
Hasselback appeared before city council on Monday, and said there has been improvements in death rates since the safe consumption site opened at the bottom of Bute Street.
Councillor Jack McLeman said surrounding businesses don’t like having the site as a neighbour.
Hasselback said the site has been used 4500 times and saved many lives since it opened in May.