In Canada and PEI, drug-related overdoses are on the rise. This is driven largely by fentanyl, which has made the illicit drug supply more toxic. Working alongside treatment and prevention, harm reduction saves lives and helps build healthy and safe communities. The PEI Department of Health and Wellness is developing new Harm Reduction Services and Supports across PEI. This is in addition to currently available services such as free naloxone kits and the Needle Exchange Program.
Supervised consumption is an effective, evidence-based harm reduction service proven to save lives and promote both public health and public safety. To that end, an Overdose Prevention Site is being developed in the capital region. For rural and suburban communities, phone-based overdose response services are currently available to all Islanders.
The National Overdose Response Service (NORS) and the Brave App are phone-based overdose response services. Both NORS (a phone line) and Brave (a phone app) connect people to trained peers and staff so that they are less likely to use drugs alone – which is a significant risk factor for overdose deaths. If a caller becomes unresponsive, then a safety plan is activated so the person can receive emergency assistance. Both services are accessible 24/7 and are free, confidential and non-judgmental.