Opioid Crisis

British Columbia’s opioid crisis has been ongoing since 2016.

This public health emergency has resulted in the loss of thousands of lives.

In 2016, B.C. declared a state of emergency in response to the increased number of people dying from opioid poisoning. In the Island Health region alone, 1075 people died between 2016 and 2020.3

The illegal drug supply in our country is toxic and unpredictable.

  • 5.2 people in B.C. died every single day from overdose in May 2021
  • 70% of deaths were between the ages of 30 to 59
  • 80% were male1
  • In 2020, fentanyl was detected in 86% of illicit drug-related deaths2

Help in Nanaimo

CMHA – Mid-Island

CMHA Mid-Island currently provides support and direct service for Nanaimo’s Overdose Prevention Site (OPS). This site operates as a space for drug consumption, providing a welcoming and culturally safe environment, harm reduction supplies, sterile environments for safer drug consumption, lifeguards to witness consumption, and best practices education for drug consumption.

437 Wesley St., Nanaimo, BC
Seven days a week: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., injection only

•    harm reduction
•    naloxone kits
•    counselling
•    substance use treatment
•    supports and access to mental health services
•    witnessed consumption

Tillicum Lelum

Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre promotes justice, fairness and equality for Aboriginal people through a holistic approach to programming and services.

Contact the Health Centre at 250.753.6578

602 Haliburton Street, Nanaimo, BC

•    drug & alcohol counselling program
•    youth safe house
•    men’s wellness program
•    healthy families
•    recovery and wellness group
•    sobriety support group

AVI Heath and Community Services

AVI is a low barrier clinic in Nanaimo that provides a wide range of support, including Opiate Agonist Treatment (OAT) and substance use services.

Monday – Thursday: 9:00am – 5:00pm 

102-55 Victoria Road, Snuneymuxw Territory, Nanaimo, BC

•    Opiate Agonist Treatment (OAT) and substance use services
•    HIV Primary Care
•    PrEP prescribing and follow-up
•    Peer support and Peer-led programming
•    STBBI testing and treatment
•    Safer sex and drug use harm reduction supplies
•    Counselling

Nanaimo and Area Resource Services for Families

Nanaimo and Area Resource Services for Families (NARSF)  provides a range of innovative health, harm-reduction, and counselling services to individuals, children, youth and families.

Phone: 250.754.2773
TollFree: 1.844.482.4239
Text: 250.510.3637

Main office: 170 Wallace Street, Nanaimo, BC

•    Harm reduction services
•    Mobile Health Outreach (reduction supplies, naloxone, HIV testing)
•    Health Matters (STI testing and treatment, rapid HIV & HEP C testing)
•    Youth (13-19 years) withdrawal management and supportive recovery
•    Pathways to Wellness programming for youth and substance use challenges

Naloxone Kits

Naloxone (also known as Narcan) is a medication that reverses the effects of an overdose from opioids, such as heroin and fentanyl. It is available in B.C. without a prescription.


  • Download Lifeguard

    The Lifeguard App provides lifesaving functions, automatically contacting emergency responders if a user becomes unconscious or unable to function in the event of an overdose. The app also provides:

    • CPR Guide
    • Naloxone Guide
    • Crisis Line access
    • 811 Nurses Line
    • Suicide Prevention Support

HelpSeeker Nanaimo

Looking for social services and resources in Nanaimo?

HelpSeeker is a free network offering over 770 social services, programs, resources, helplines, and benefits across Nanaimo in areas including shelter and housing, domestic violence, food services, and others.

HelpSeeker allows you to privately browse a directory of services in Nanaimo to find the help you need, when you need it.

Find over

  • 90 housing resources
  • 130 mental health resources
  • 60 food support services
  • 60 recreational services
  • 230 education programs & resources.

Information on the Opioid Crisis

  1. BC Coroners Service – Illicit Drug Toxicity Deaths in BC Jan. 1, 2011 – May 31. 2021
  2. BC Coroners Service – Illicit Drug Toxicity Type of Drug Data to May 31. 2021
  3. Vancouver Island Health Athority

Resources to help you

Do You Need Help?

If you’re looking for mental health support, shelter, addictions treatment, food banks and more, BC 211 can help.

Or search HelpSeeker for access to over 770 services, programs and resources in Nanaimo.