Port Alberni is one of 20 BC cities considered a high-priority for drug overdose funding.
The provincial Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions is providing an additional $75,000 for communities to use to address the overdose crisis.
Ellen Frood of the Alberni Women’s and Community Services Society says it will allow a much-needed expansion of local services.
She says the money will help expand services to drug users they have had difficulty reaching.
Frood understands there is a stigma in the community about drug users, but says the problem is more pervasive than many believe.
She said they will be able to hire a coordinator for their Community Action Team that helps users be safe, and guides them towards rehab programs whenever possible.
This latest funding is in addition to the $100,000 announced earlier this year to establish Community Action Teams, and is part of the government’s 3-year, $322 million investment in addressing the overdose crisis.