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New overdose prevention, treatment services coming to Nanaimo

December 2, 2022 at 12:37 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

A new wellness and recovery centre in Nanaimo will expand and integrate harm reduction, and treatment and recovery services to connect people with substance-use challenges to life-saving supports.  

The centre, funded by the Province and Island Health, will include an overdose prevention site, a range of services, including treatment options and other harm-reduction measures, and supports and referrals for people who use substances to reduce the risk of toxic drug poisonings.

“At this dangerous time of drug toxicity, we want services to meet people,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Once complete, the Nanaimo wellness and recovery centre will connect people with substance-use challenges to the supports they need to stay alive and connect to care.”

The overdose prevention site will open as an interim service on Monday, Dec. 5, 2022, and is located at 250 Albert St. Renovations to the centre at the same location will take place over the coming months. The wellness and recovery centre is expected to be fully operational in late 2023 and will offer a range of other services, including medication-assisted treatment, addictions medicine and basic health care.

“There is a crucial need for more services for people living with substance use,” said Jason Harrison, executive director, Canadian Mental Health Association’s (CMHA) mid-island branch. “This new service will provide a client-centred, dignified and non-judgmental care, and offers opportunities for people to connect with the services they need, and supports them on their wellness journeys.”

The centre is operated by the CMHA’s mid-island branch, following Island Health’s request for proposals earlier in 2022. 

“Island Health is pleased to partner with the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions and CMHA to strengthen crucial harm reduction and substance use service improvements in Nanaimo,” said Leah Hollins, board chair, Island Health. “Overdose prevention services, coupled with improved access to a range of services including health care services, treatment, therapy and referrals to other services such as treatment beds are providing expanded options for people living with substance-use challenges.”

Enhancing supports for people living with mental-health and substance-use challenges is an integral part of A Pathway to Hope, B.C.’s roadmap for building the comprehensive system of mental-health and addictions care for British Columbians.


Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan –

“The toxic drug crisis continues to claim lives at a tragic rate. This new wellness and recovery centre, as well as the overdose prevention site, will help save lives and ensure people in our community get the help they need and deserve.”

Quick Fact:

  • In Nanaimo, there have been 59 deaths so far this year, compared to the 51 deaths in 2021.


Learn More:

To see A Pathway to Hope, government’s vision for mental health and addictions care in B.C., visit:

For Island Health, Mental Health and Substance Use Services, visit:

For Canadian Mental Health Association mid-island branch, visit:

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