In December of 2016, we were approached by a BC community with a problem: the lease for their fixed safe injection site was ending soon, and they couldn’t locate a suitable alternate location.
Having provided healthcare services via mobile solutions such as our 53’ mobile hospital, I-MASH, we looked at the viability of offering safe consumption from within a vehicle.
At the time, the province was coming to grips with the stark reality of the opioid crisis; 523 BC residents had lost their lives to opioid overdoses in 2015 alone. News stories on the daily focused on the rising numbers of people dying. We had already begun distributing our Nasal Naloxone kits as one small way we could offer something of potential utility in response to the growing crisis.
This call, on the other hand, provided a unique opportunity to make a difference on a larger scale.
At the outset, an obvious benefit to the mobile solution, if it were viable, would be the avoidance of a lease and the need to pay utilities. It also removed the need to find an appropriate physical space within a pre-existing infrastructure. And with this, we began our journey toward delivery of our first Mobile Injection Site, or I-MIS.
Over the course of the next three blogs, we will be sharing what we learned on our journey, and will also be hinting at what the future of I-MIS might look like….stay tuned.