Island Health says they opened the Alberni Overdose Prevention Site in the midst of the opioid emergency, and acted quickly in order meet community needs.
Mid-Island Medical Health Officer Dr. Paul Hasselback says the Port Alberni site is one of the busiest on the island with 400-500 visits per week, as the office at Third and Bute is central to where many of the overdoses were occurring.
Last week, a nearby homeowner prevented someone on drugs from breaking into their home, and earlier this week the Deja Vu bookstore announced it was closing due to its proximity to the overdose prevention site, and problems with the people who frequent it.
He said while most people agree overdose prevention is needed, few want it located in their neighbourhoods or next to their businesses
He said the drugs are the problem, not the various community responses to the opioid emergency crisis.
Hasselback says Island Health contracts other groups to operate the overdose prevention site, and any proposed move or expansion would be proposed by them to the Island Health board.