Comox Valley Community Action Team Helps Reduce Illicit Drug Toxicity Deaths


Most communities on Vancouver Island, including the Comox Valley, have Community Action Teams (CATs) that provide support to people who use drugs.

But now, as the province invests $ 2.5 million to help new and existing WCBs, they will have additional funds to continue their vital work in the areas they serve.

With on-the-ground support tailored to the needs of local communities, these teams aim to reduce the risk of death from illicit drug poisoning in areas hardest hit by the overdose crisis.

In addition to Campbell River, in the Island Health Region, TACs are located in Campbell River, Duncan, Nanaimo, Oceanside, Port Alberni and Victoria. In the fall of this year, there will be a total of 36 teams across British Columbia.

Nancy Burchell, project coordinator at CAT Fort St. John, says staff are “extremely grateful” to the province for the funding. She finds that cats do play an “integral role” in the response to the overdose crisis.

According to the province, CATs not only help save lives but also reduce drug harms by distributing naloxone, supporting overdose prevention services, providing peer support and reducing stigma. .

CATs also play a vital role in the navigation, support and defense of services, the province notes. They are made up of community partners, such as First Nations communities, municipalities, front-line community organizations, and individuals and families with lived experience.

“I lived a life that included active addiction and overdosed myself. I also tried to help other people who were also trapped in the addiction cycle, ”says Carl Howard of CAT Burnaby.

“Being part of a CAT (as a peer) has really been an important tool in dealing with the overdose crisis,” Howard said, adding that he was “very grateful” that this activity has been and continues to be. ‘be funded.

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