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Work needed to increase drug users’ access to services, preliminary report findings suggest

More can be done to provide better access to prevention, harm reduction and treatment services for drug users and alcoholics, the city’s public health unit heard during a survey of community agencies and addicts.

Their feedback also suggests there’s work to be done to increase peer involvement, better integrate services with mental health and housing support, and expand work in schools. The feedback comes in an interim report on a “gap analysis” of programs and services that’s to go to the city’s board of health on Monday. A full report is expected later this year.

Experts and advocates want supervised injection site for Ottawa

Researchers and harm reduction advocates are calling for supervised drug injection facilities for Ottawa.

The authors of the Toronto and Ottawa Supervised Consumption Assessment (TOSCA) presented their findings during an event at the Ottawa Public Library’s main branch on Metcalfe Street on Thursday evening. The event was held in recognition of AIDS Awareness Week.

The TOSCA report, released on April 11 2012, recommended opening supervised drug injection sites in Ottawa, as well as Toronto.

Researchers call for safe injection sites

Researchers behind a four-year scientific study have recommended the establishment of two safe injection sites for Ottawa which they say would help drug users and reduce drug use in the capital.

Dr. Ahmed Bayoumi and Dr. Carol Strike presented the findings of the Toronto and Ottawa Supervised Consumption Assessment on Thursday evening. The researchers participated in a panel discussion with representatives of the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa and the Drug Users Advocacy League, as part of Ottawa AIDS Awareness Week.

Should Ottawa have a space where drug users can inject in safety?

Rick Sproule from the Drug Users Advocacy League interviewed on CBC Ottawa Morning with Robyn Bresnahan about the call from researchers & members of the public for the creation of supervised drug consumption sites in Ottawa.

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Researchers call for supervised injection sites to prevent overdose deaths

CBC News Ottawa report on our event "Sharing the evidence: TOSCA and drug consumption sites in Ottawa".

Contains graphic images of drug injection.

Harm reduction continues to save lives

September 30th 2012 marks the one year anniversary of the Supreme Court of Canada’s landmark decision stating that InSite, Vancouver’s supervised consumption site, could not be closed by the federal government. In their 2011 ruling, the Supreme Court noted "the experiment has proven successful. InSite has saved lives and improved health without increasing the incidence of drug use and crime in the surrounding area." A year later Ottawa community members are still calling for the city to implement supervised consumption sites as part of an effective strategy to address substance use issues facing the community.

Ottawa ‘needs safe injection site to reduce HIV rate’

Former drug users and the families and friends of the many Ottawans lost to drug overdoses renewed calls for a safe injection site in the city Friday during International Overdose Awareness Day.

“As we are seeing more people turn to heroin, my concern is that these overdoses could increase,” said Dr. Lynne Leonard, a social epidemiologist and Research Scientist in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Ottawa.

“By providing a supervised injection site we would reduce the personal risk and community costs of drug use,” she said.

Report urges shift from treating addiction as a criminal issue to public health one

The war on drugs is a "destructive" failure that is fuelling the transmission of HIV/AIDS, according to a former Supreme Court justice.

Louise Arbour, who has also served as UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, said a "repressive" approach to drug policies is not only a public health disaster — but a colossal waste from an economic perspective as well.

Rejection of supervised injection sites in Ottawa too hasty, group says

A local community group said it’s a shame that Mayor Jim Watson and police chief Charles Bordeleau gave “knee-jerk” reactions Wednesday opposing supervised injection sites in Ottawa.

Caleb Chepesiuk, a member of Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites in Ottawa, said he wants to keep the discussion going on whether Ottawa should have such sites, even if Watson and Bordeleau are against them.

Ottawa-based group Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites reacts to the Toronto and Ottawa Supervised Consumption Assessment

Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites in Ottawa (CSCS) welcomes the final report of the TOSCA study as a critical piece of research looking at potential responses to the issues of substance use in our community. We would first like to thank the researchers and community members in Ottawa and Toronto who put the work into this very important study.

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