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Report shows the need for supervised consumption services

By Tim Davidson Apr 13, 2023 | 2:54 PM

The Northwestern Health Unit is recommending supervised consumption sites for drugs in Kenora, Dryden, Fort Frances and Sioux Lookout.

Dr. Kit Young Hoon is the medical officer of health and says studies says supervised consumption sites have a number of benefits.

“Research has shown the sites can have benefits including reducing overdose deaths, decreasing the spread of infectious diseases, reducing discarded drug equipment near the site and increasing the use of health care services, including treatment services,” Dr. Young Hoon told a news conference Thursday morning.

She says each community would have a lead agency that can determine on the best location for the site.

“There is the need to have a fair bit of discussion on how best to, you know, what’s a good location, what’s the flow of the site, how are we going to staff it, how are we going to fund it etcetera.  The Northwestern Health Unit is going to support the process, as much as possible, for each of the four communities.”

Dr. Young Hoon adds despite concerns surrounding supervised consumption sites, research shows they are actually quite safe for the community.

“The general research at this this point indicates for supervised consumption services, there is no impact on criminal activity near the site.  Even some research reports that outline there are benefits, and that criminal activity actually decreases once a site is implemented.”

The Health Unit says the findings need to be reviewed by each community to determine next steps and that it will support these discussions.

The Health Unit shows the number of overdose deaths from drugs in northwestern Ontario more tripled between 2019 to 2021 and Dr. Young Hoon suggests the final 2022 statistics will be the same or even higher.


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