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Harm reduction meet & greet - July 16, 2015

Centretown Community Health Centre is hosting a harm reduction meet & greet on July 16th, 1:30-3pm in Dundonald Park. 

This is an opportunity to meet with community health service providers, talk harm reduction, and have some fun. CSCS and DUAL will be there, we hope you can make it too!

RSVP on Facebook

The problems with the Problem Address Framework

As one of several community groups that have united in opposition to the Multi-Stakeholder Approach to Problem Addresses (MSAPA), the Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites in Ottawa would like to clarify our reasons for condemning this initiative.

CSCS Ottawa is a grassroots collective of individuals who want to see increased health services for those struggling with drug addiction in our nation’s capital. We are composed of academics, frontline workers, and people with history of substance abuse. We believe people who use drugs have a right to health and self-determination, which includes access to safe and secure housing options. We believe in pragmatic policy that is evidence-based. 

These are the three core reasons we object to the Problem Address Framework:

  1. It challenges honest relationships between clients in need and service providers: Due to the criminalization and stigmatization of drug use, people who use drugs will not seek care if they do not feel safe. Concern has already been raised about privacy limitations within the PAF, as multiple stakeholders are encouraged to disclose sensitive information without their clients’ consent. We believe client confidentiality is essential to maintain honest communication and effective service delivery, particularly in health care settings.
  2. It undermines pragmatic harm reduction strategies such as secondary distribution: In municipalities such as the Greater Toronto Area, formalized secondary distribution (peers providing equipment and information) out of residential units has been an innovative response to agency limitations (e.g. hours of operation). Ottawa Public Health has recognized that access to harm reduction equipment remains a challenge for people who use drugs in Ottawa, and has suggested formalizing secondary equipment distribution by people who use drugs here (1). Such secondary services provided in Ottawa could be negatively characterized by this framework as a “Problem Address” despite functioning as a community health service.
  3. It ignores a clear solution to many community concerns: If agencies want to reduce public drug use and drug equipment litter, provide an alternative to illicit drug use in residential units, and encourage access to addiction treatment, then they should support the creation of safer consumption sites in Ottawa. International research has demonstrated the positive impacts of supervised injection services on clients and communities in Canada and around the globe.

Montreal movement for supervised injection sites inspires Ottawa advocates

Late last week Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre committed to implementing four supervised injection sites in the City of Montreal by fall of this year – regardless of Federal support. “What are we waiting for? People are dying,” said Coderre.

This assertive step to save lives and improve public health in his city is welcomed by Ottawa advocates, who are saddened by Mayor Watson’s willful ignorance of harm reduction services. Mayor Watson did recognize local drug fatalities in the summer of 2013 when he proclaimed “Overdose Awareness Day” in the City of Ottawa, but has never attended the annual event at the human rights monument.

The Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites (CSCS) in Ottawa will press on this summer, continuing to educate residents of Ottawa on the benefits of, and need for, supervised injection services and challenge stigma surrounding problematic substance use.

Other pertinent info:

  • While Insite has the unanimous support of the Supreme Court of Canada, two supervised injection sites currently operate in Vancouver, BC. The second drug consumption room exists in the Dr. Peter Centre, an HIV/AIDs treatment facility. The centre has provided nursing support and supervision for clients’ injection drug use for over a decade, and applied for a federal exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) (the same that Insite has) in February 2014.
  • Last summer a peer-reviewed research paper from Simon Fraser University predicted that two supervised injection facilities in Ottawa would save approximately $1 million dollars per year in reduced HIV and HCV transmissions. (1)
  • According to Ottawa Public Health, an estimated 40 deaths and 115 hospitalizations are attributed to drug overdose annually in the City of Ottawa. (2)
  • Of people who inject drugs in Ottawa, 10% are HIV positive and 70% have Hepatitis C (HCV) antibodies. (2)

CSCS New and Returning Members Meeting

CSCS New Members Meeting - May 19 2015

Get involved for supervised injection in Ottawa!

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.

We hope to see you there!

International Harm Reduction Day in Ottawa - May 7, 2015

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.

Thursday, May 7th 2015
1:30pm - 3:30pm
St. Brigid’s Centre, 310 St. Patrick Street, Ottawa

(Entrance on Cumberland street)
Refreshments will be provided.

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.

RSVP on Facebook

International Harm Reduction Day - Ottawa, May 7 2015

The House I Live In

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.

RSVP on Facebook

The House I Live In

2nd annual holiday breakfast for people who use drugs

On Dec 19 from 9:30am-noon, DUAL and CSCS Ottawa will be serving our second annual holiday breakfast for people who use drugs in our community.

We are in need of volunteers, food, decorations, gifts and dishware for this awesome event, so please get in touch with Catherine or Jordon if you're able to help out.

The Limits of Compassion

The conversation about supervised injection sites in Ottawa is frequently dominated by experts and politicians, while those who would benefit most from a site are not heard.

In this new video, current and former drug users share their stories and their hopes for more compassionate health care services in Ottawa.

"The Limits of Compassion" was made by CSCS Ottawa volunteer Michael Cumming, with thanks to DUAL Ottawa and members of our community for their participation.

Vote for safer consumption sites

Vote for safer consumption sites in Ottawa

On October 27, cast your ballot for harm reduction in Ottawa by voting for a candidate who supports supervised injection.

CSCS has contacted all of the candidates for city councillor in the 2014 Ottawa municipal elections to find out where they stand on safer consumptions sites. As we receive responses, we'll update this page to indicate which candidates are in support of our campaign, or at least open to a discussion of the issue. If you have information on a candidate not listed below, please contact us.

The next few years will be a critical time for establishing supervised injection services in Ottawa - let's make sure that we have councillors who trust evidence over ideology when it comes to community health.

National Rally for Canadian Drug Policy Reform 9/30 2014

9/30 National Rally for Canadian Drug Policy Reform

Are you FED UP with Canadian drug policy? Join us Sept. 30th and make your voice heard!

Each year, September 30th is remembered and celebrated as the anniversary of the Supreme Court of Canada's 2011 decision that blocked the federal government's attempt to close Insite, Vancouver's supervised injection site.

This major victory for harm reduction called attention to the need for drug policy reform in Canada, one that is based on science, evidence, and humanity.

Join with people from across the country who support the need for drug policy reform as we make our voices heard on Parliament Hill on Tuesday, September 30th from 11am to 1pm.

It's time to take action against policies that cause harm to thousands of people across Canada. We will not sit idle any longer. We can do better.

For more information visit ruFEDUPca.com, like the campaign on Facebook, and follow @rufedupca on Twitter.

We'll see you there!

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