CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. – Campbell River now has a harm reduction team to help fight overdoses.

AIDS Vancouver Island (AVI) launched the mobile harm reduction team in mid-October, with funding from the provincial Community Action Team.

Sarah Sullivan, the manager for the Courtenay and Campbell River AVI offices, said Campbell River was identified as a critical community where a number of overdoses occur, along with 17 other communities in the province.

“The outreach team is focused on providing harm reduction and overdose prevention services to people who maybe aren’t comfortable coming into traditional health care services such as AVI or Island Health services,” said Sullivan. She said individuals can call the team, and they can come and provide support and discreet services.

Sullivan added the mobile team will also travel around town to deliver overdose prevention education, and help connect people to other services to help them make changes to their substance use.

She added that another team was launched two weeks ago for Courtenay. She said the mobile teams only have funding until July 2019, after which AVI has to secure sustainable funding for the service.

The teams operate from Wednesday-Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The Campbell River team can be reached at 250-830-0787 or 250-203-0772. The Courtenay team can be reached at 250-207-3757.