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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!

Overdose Awareness Day 2014

Overdose Awareness Day 2014

International Overdose Awareness Day aims to raise awareness of drug overdose and eradicate the stigma attached to drug use. Overdoses are preventable!

On August 29th at 11:30am the Ottawa community will gather at the Human Rights Monument on Elgin Street to mark International Overdose Awareness Day and commemorate those who have been affected by overdose.

This year’s event will explore the stigma faced by people who use drugs and their families, and will include guest speakers with lived experience.

Supporters of the Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites will gather at 10:15am at the corner of Cumberland and Clarence in the ByWard Market. Together we'll walk to the Human Rights Monument in order to raise awareness that safer consumption sites can save lives and reduce overdose deaths in our community.

Please join us and add your support as we walk to this important event.

Workshop at the Peoples' Social Forum 2014

CSCS and DUAL will co-host a workshop on grassroots organizing for supervised consumption sites at the 2014 Peoples’ Social Forum in Ottawa.

Time: Friday August 22 2014, 4:30-6pm
Location: R
oom 323 of Tabaret Hall, University of Ottawa

The Peoples’ Social Forum will be a key place to mobilize groups from various communities that advocate for the opening of safer consumptions sites for people who use drugs. In this workshop, we will share our experiences and strategize on how to push for safer consumption services across Canada.

The success of Insite in Vancouver BC, as well as the Supreme Court of Canada decision in 2011 to keep it open, should have led to the opening of more of these life saving services in other Canadian cities. Yet the moralization of safer consumption, and harm reduction services more broadly, continues to be an impediment to opening more legally sanctioned sites almost 3 years after the SCC decision. In this workshop, CSCS and DUAL will collaborate with other people organizing to open safer consumption sites and strategize on how to provide a diverse array of harm reduction services, which are accessible to everyone.

Municipal election lobbying campaign

The Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites in Ottawa is looking for your help to lobby candidates in the upcoming Ottawa municipal election. 

In the next few weeks organizers will be finalizing lobby kits for distribution to candidates in each riding. Our goal is to ensure that candidates are educated on the evidence in support of harm reduction practices and the need for safer consumption sites in the city of Ottawa.

This is a great and easy opportunity to stay involved in the fight for safe consumption in Ottawa! Here's how:

1. Send your full name, email address, and riding name to info@cscsottawa.ca. If you do not know your riding please find it here. CSCS organizers will keep track of people who wish to lobby the candidates in their riding in order to distribute the kits, record meeting results, and keep everyone updated on upcoming events that CSCS members would like to have a presence at leading up to the election on Oct. 27, 2014;

2. Keep us posted on the results of your contact with candidates. This way we can track who we've contacted, what the results were, and who might be potential allies following the election. 

Study finds supervised injection sites in Ottawa to be a fiscally responsible harm reduction strategy

A new study has found that supervised injection sites are a fiscally responsible strategy for reducing the spread of HIV and hepatitis C in Ottawa.

The report from researchers at Simon Fraser University recommends the establishment of two supervised injection facilities (SIFs) as an "efficient and effective use of financial resources in the public health domain."

According to the report, these facilities would avert 9 HIV infections and 88 hepatitis C infections each year in Ottawa. This would result in public health care savings of nearly $5 million. The cost of operating the two sites is estimated at $4 million.

The peer-reviewed study is published in Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention and Policy.

"The local health officials, not the federal or provincial government, should make decisions regarding opening SIFs, based on the positive impact of SIFs in reducing injections in public, while lowering the overdose fatalities and infectious diseases," reads the report.

In reviewing the evidence from Insite, Canada's first supervised injection site in Vancouver, the study concludes that the facility has not increased crime, drug dealing, public injection, or public syringe disposal in the community.

The report echoes recommendations from a 2012 University of Toronto study, which also advised the creation of two supervised injection sites in Ottawa to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. The Supervised Consumption Assessment Study found that Ottawa has Ontario's highest rate of new HIV infection amongst injection drug users.

Centretown Harm Reduction Meet & Greet

Centretown Harm Reduction Meet and Greet - July 29 2014

On Tuesday July 29 at 1:30, join Centretown CHC for a harm reduction meet and greet in Dundonald Park. Have a snack, play some games, make some art, and meet other people who live in the community. We'll see you there!

First International Harm Reduction Day

On May 7th, 2014, the Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites joins in the celebration of the first International Harm Reduction Day. International Harm Reduction Day is a day to promote evidence-based public health policies and practices and access to these services as a human right. Health services, including a wide variety of harm reduction services, are still not easily accessible throughout the world. To mark International Harm Reduction Day, we bring attention to the need for more accessible harm reduction services worldwide, and to Ottawa’s needs in particular. 

It's a question of respect - speak out against Bill C-2

Add your voice to the many others that are speaking out against Bill C-2 — a bill that will make it harder, if not impossible, for communities to provide needed health services including supervised consumption services. Please share this important video with your friends and family.

Get informed, sign the petition, and contact your MP. Don't let silence speak for you.

Visit the website: respectcommunities.ca

Evidence not Ideology: A discussion of harm reduction in Ottawa

Evidence not Ideology: A discussion on harm reduction, March 14 2014

Heard of harm reduction? Want to learn more? On March 14 at Carleton University, join us for a discussion about harm reduction & community health in Ottawa.

NOTE: The event has been moved to Uni Centre room 180.

Presented by the School of Social Work's Social Justice Committee, this event will feature expert speakers sharing their stories and answering your questions and concerns:

  • Christine, Participatory Research in Ottawa: Understanding Drug Use
  • Karen White-Jones, Carleton School of Social Work Faculty & Manager of Addictions Services at The Ottawa Mission
  • Luc Cormier, RN with the Oasis Program at Sandy Hill Community Health Centre
  • Sean LeBlanc, Drug Users Advocacy League

Members of the Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites in Ottawa will be present as well, sharing their advocacy work and ways of getting involved.

Spread the word, and we hope to see you all there!

RSVP on Facebook

Get the facts: No such thing as a "no-go zone"

Recently, there's been a lot of discussion about supervised consumption sites in Ottawa. It's important to separate the FACTS from the MYTHS.

FACT: IF A SUPERVISED CONSUMPTION SITE OPENED IN OTTAWA, POLICE WOULD RETAIN FULL POWERS TO ENFORCE ALL LAWS THROUGHOUT THE COMMUNITY.

Only the inside of the supervised consumption site itself would be exempt from drug possession laws. 

Ottawa Police Superintendent Tyrus Cameron dismissed the myth of restricted police enforcement around a potential supervised consumption site during a Lowertown Community Association meeting:

“There is no such thing as a 'No-go zone'. The Ottawa Police will enforce the Criminal Code everywhere in Ottawa. The community expects us to, so we will.” - Superintendent Cameron, Ottawa Police, Oct. 21 2013

In an article published by the Ottawa Sun, Inspector Scott Thompson of the Vancouver Police Department spoke about policing policy around Insite, Vancouver's supervised injection site:

There is no 'bubble zone'. The force “recommended” that officers direct users found injecting within a four-block radius to Insite to avoid future brushes with the law but they had “full discretion” to lay charges and seize drugs. - Ottawa Sun Interview with Insp. Thompson, VPD, Sept. 28 2013

The evidence from Insite in Vancouver – and from over 90 such sites around the world – shows that supervised consumption sites encourage cleaner, safer streets by helping to reduce public drug use and drug equipment litter. They're also proven to reduce the spread of diseases such as HIV, prevent overdose deaths, and improve access to addiction treatment programs.

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