The Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites in Ottawa was formed in response to an ongoing health crisis.
Ottawa has Ontario’s highest rate of new HIV infection among injection drug users. 11% of people who inject drugs in Ottawa are infected with HIV, while 60% have contracted hepatitis C. Someone dies of drug overdose every 10 days in our city — deaths that could be prevented with timely medical intervention.
Supervised consumption sites are public health facilities that offer a safe, hygienic place where people can use their own drugs under medical supervision.
Canada’s first supervised injection site, Insite, has been operating since 2003 in downtown Vancouver. The evidence from Insite – and from over 90 such sites around the world – proves that supervised consumption sites reduce the spread of diseases such as HIV, prevent overdose deaths, and improve access to addiction treatment programs. They have also been shown to encourage cleaner, safer streets by reducing public drug use and drug equipment litter.
Opening supervised drug consumption sites in Ottawa would:
Reduce the spread of HIV and hepatitis-C by providing sterile equipment and safe disposal for used needles
Prevent deaths caused by overdose
Decrease public drug use and drug-equipment litter
Provide access to health and social services, such as first aid treatment and addiction recovery programs
Sign the petition to show your support for supervised drug consumption services in Ottawa.
The next meeting of our organizers group will be on Sunday June 7th, 2pm at Somerset West Community Health Centre (map). The meeting room is on the 3rd floor, please ring the doorbell at the Eccles St. entrance if the door is locked.
CSCS is a grassroots group of community members who are passionate about creating a healthier Ottawa. We meet on the first Sunday of each month at Somerset West CHC, and the third Tuesday of each month at Bluebird Coffee. If you're interested in getting involved with our campaign to bring supervised injection to Ottawa, please join in!
Join the Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites in Ottawa in celebrating recent efforts to bring safer consumption to Ottawa and learn about the history of CSCS, our current projects, and how YOU can take action and get involved. Everyone welcome and refreshments will be provided.
When: Tuesday May 19th, 5:30-7pm Where: Centretown CHC, 420 Cooper St., Ottawa (map) RSVP on Facebook
Everyone is welcome and refreshments will be provided. Bus tickets are available to those in need of transportation. Centretown CHC is wheel chair accessible.
A new study suggests a significant number of Ottawa’s most serious drug addicts would use a safe injection site if one ever opened in this city.
The study, prepared for a group that wants to bring at least two safe injection sites to Ottawa, found that 75.4 per cent of surveyed addicts said they would be prepared to use a facility where they could inject drugs with clean needles under medical supervision.
That level of participation would reduce overdose deaths and offer huge health benefits to drug users, who suffer high rates of HIV and Hepatitis-C, while also improving the safety of downtown streets made hazardous by discarded needles, advocates said Thursday at a community meeting held to discuss the study.
“I think it shows that, contrary to popular belief, drug users are actually interested in their health,” said Rob Boyd, director of a program at Sandy Hill Community Health Centre that offers harm reduction and health services to drug users and sex workers.
“I think it shows they’re interested in ways of using drugs that are less harmful and that they don’t want to be using drugs publicly,” he said. “We all want a solution to drug use on the curb.”
Supervised Injection Sites, or SIS, has been a contentious issue in Ottawa for almost a decade.
Some see them located in Ottawa neighbourhoods as a cause for concern, others see it as a solution to the city's drug problem.
On Thursday, members of the Participatory Research in Ottawa: Understanding Drugs (or PROUD) released results of their city-wide survey relating to SIS. The study surveyed 858 drug users between March 2013 and January 2014.
The Sun spoke with Chris Dalton, knowledge translation co-ordinator of the study, to discuss the results and what they mean to the study group, drug users and communities.
Q: What do the results of the study show and tell you?
A: The data shows that people in Ottawa who are affected by addiction are the people who want and need these sites in order to feel safe and be healthy by not sharing dirty needles and spreading diseases like HIV or Hepatitis C.
Q: Why does Ottawa need a SIS?
A: Addiction is like any other disease out there. These people have a health problem and they need treatment that is humane, compassionate and proven to work.
To celebrate International Harm Reduction Day, we will be co-hosting a discussion of Bill C-2 and the future of supervised injection services in Ottawa with community members, people who use drugs, service providers, and researchers.
Researchers from the PROUD project (Participatory Research in Ottawa: Understanding Drugs) will present data from their study relating to supervised injection services. PROUD is a community-based research project that examines HIV risk among people who use drugs in Ottawa.
There was rare harmony between our federal, provincial and local politicians last week as they gathered to announce the feds’ $62-million contribution to the Ottawa River Action Plan.
The infrastructure upgrade, which will reduce the filth flowing into the Ottawa River, is pretty uncontroversial. Who favours pollution?
And who doesn’t like to see our officials from different levels and parties play nice? Depends what they’re playing at.
Pierre Poilievre, the federal minister responsible for our region, later talked to Metro to tout the investment, but also to defend Bill C-2, The Respect For Communities Act, passed by the House of Commons last month, which raises new barriers to opening supervised injection sites for intravenous drug users.
The federal government would be irresponsible if it did not insist that recently tabled legislation regarding drug injection sites include provisions requiring community consultation, says a Conservative cabinet minister.
“This is clearly a matter of public health and public safety, and I think Canadians would expect the minister of health to listen carefully to the municipal and community leaders in a jurisdiction where an injection house is proposed,” Pierre Poilievre, the Minister of Employment and Social Development, said in an interview Wednesday.
The federal government has signalled when the city of Ottawa will be able to open a safe-injection site for intravenous drug users. It’s called never.
Little attention was paid when the House of Commons passed Bill C-2 in late March. Drug addicts are like prison inmates: They make poor lobbyists. The law is called the Respect For Communities Act, one of those Orwellian names — like the Safe Streets Act — cooked up by the short-pants in Mind Control.
The act is a response to the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in 2011 to uphold the existence of Vancouver’s Insite drug clinic because it delivered health benefits without substantial negative effects on the community.
But the new law makes future applications so burdensome, not to mention politically charged, it’s doubtful any would ever be approved.
“Should Bill C-2 become law, it will be extremely difficult to open a supervised injection anywhere in Canada, including in Ottawa,” said Lisa Wright, a PhD candidate and an organizer with the Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites.
Join the Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites in Ottawa for a screening of the documentary The House I Live In, which provides an in-depth examination of the effects of the American War on Drugs on the criminal legal system and the people who have been criminalized.
When: Thursday Feb. 5th at 7PM Where: University of Ottawa, FSS 1005
Following the film there will be a panel discussion to provide information about the criminalization of people who use drugs in Ottawa.