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Clients are supported by a team of nurses, counsellors and support staff
Vancouver Coastal Health and PHS Community Services Society work together to provide a comprehensive support network at InSite, including a front line team of nurses, counsellors, mental health workers and peer support workers.
InSite has 12 injection booths where clients inject pre-obtained illicit drugs under the supervision of nurses and health care staff.
InSite also supplies clean injection equipment such as syringes, cookers, filters, water and tourniquets. If an overdose occurs, the team, led by a nurse, are available to intervene immediately.
Nurses also provide other health care services, like wound care and immunizations. Although there have been 1418 overdoses at InSite between 2004 and 2010, staff were able to successfully intervene each time. There has never been a fatality at InSite since opening. In fact, research shows that since InSite opened, overdoses in the vicinity of the site have decreased by 35% - compared to a 9% decrease in the city overall.
InSite also has addictions counselors, mental health workers, and peer staff who connect clients to community resources such as housing, addictions treatment, and other supportive services.
Part of a continuum of services
InSite was not designed to be a stand-alone facility. It's part of a continuum of care for people with addiction, mental illness and HIV/AIDS. It was designed to be accessible to injection drug users who are not well connected to health care services. Partnering with PHS Community Services Society enabled Vancouver Coastal Health to bring health services to the Downtown East Side community in a way that was more accessible and pertinent.
For people with chronic drug addiction, InSite is the first rung on the ladder from chronic drug addiction to possible recovery; from being ill to becoming well.
Insite and Onsite, services that exist together InSite and Onsite are wrap-around programs that exist one above the other in the same Hastings Street location.
When clients, usually InSite users, are ready to access withdrawal management, they can be immediately accommodated at Onsite. On the second floor of OnSite people have access to 12 rooms with private bathrooms where they can detox. Mental health workers, counselors, nurses and doctors work together to help people stabilize and plan their next steps. People can then move up to the 3rd floor transitional recovery housing for further stabilization and connection to community support, treatment programs and housing.
Learn more about our addiction services
Learn more about Insite's services