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Another reason to support supervised injection sites - Ottawa Citizen Editorial

To those still unmoved by the proven harm-reduction benefits of supervised drug injection sites, perhaps the conclusion of a new study published in the journal Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention and Policy will have more appeal: the sites could actually save taxpayer dollars. The research provides yet another reason to support a proposed clinic here in Ottawa and others elsewhere.

In his peer-reviewed paper, Simon Fraser University’s Ehsan Jozaghi suggests health-care savings of $5 million — a number associated with the prevention of an estimated nine HIV infections and 88 hepatitis C infections from dirty needles — would more than make up for the $4-million cost of operating two Ottawa clinics. In fact, he argues, the savings would probably be higher because the clinics would also reduce other infection rates and overdose deaths.

'Safe site' backers point to potential tax savings

Advocates of government-sanctioned injection sites for drug users have a new argument for opening such facilities in Ottawa: a potential saving to taxpayers of at least $1 million a year.

The figure appears in a study published this week that compares the estimated cost of operating two medically supervised injection sites with the health care savings of averting nine HIV infections and 88 hepatitis C infections drug users could otherwise get from sharing dirty needles.

Lead researcher Ehsan Jozaghi of Simon Fraser University said in an interview Tuesday that the findings present “strong arguments for having these facilities in Ottawa to prevent HIV and hepatitis C infections, which cost the health care system millions of dollars a year.”

Another study calls for supervised injection sites in Ottawa

Another group of researchers has concluded Ottawa should have supervised injection sites.

A study by researchers at Simon Fraser University published in the online journal Substance Abuse, Treatment, Prevention and Policy says establishing supervised injection sites in Ottawa would be a “fiscally responsible harm reduction strategy” for preventing the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C.

The study compares the cost of running a supervised injection site in Ottawa — researchers put the annual cost at $2.2 million, based on Insite in Vancouver — with treating people through the healthcare system.

Ottawa marks International Drug Users Memorial Day

More than 75 people gathered Monday morning in Lowertown's Cathcart Park to mourn the loss of loved ones who died from overdose and addiction.

Organizer Ryta Peschka said the gathering was to mark International Drug User Memorial Day.

"It was created in the late 1990's in Europe to acknowledge the many deaths of people through either drug or alcohol overdose and as well as the situation around drug laws and policies," she said.

New survey released for Lowertown residents; Focus on safety, security, and supervised injection in neighbourhood

A new online survey being conducted by the Lowertown Community Association is asking residents whether they feel safe in their neighbourhood.

The survey, launched on May 3, is an initiative aimed at helping track concerns and issues in the community.

Norman Moyer, the association's safety and security committee chairman, said the survey would be a way to understand how both residents and visitors to the neighbourhood feel about the Byward Market and Lowertown East.

Injection site supporters demand Ottawa Public Health take a stand on Ottawa clinic

Sean Leblanc survived his opiate addiction "by the skin of my teeth," and he's seen too many friends fall victim to their own personal demons to stand idly by.

"Many of us here have lost friends and family members, people we love and respect, and I think we as a country and a community can do better," said Leblanc, chair of the Drug Users Advocacy League, leading a rally on Parliament Hill Sunday to voice support for bringing supervised injection sites to Ottawa.

"I know from having been there, people don't want to be sticking a needle in their arm every day, and we need to be providing the support and love and services and basic access to care so that they can make positive changes in their lives."

Supporters of supervised injection site rally on Parliament Hill

People calling for a supervised injection site in Ottawa brought their message to Parliament Hill Sunday afternoon.

They rallied in support of a clean and safe centre for drug-users in the Capital, a place they say can reduce the spread of disease and prevent deadly overdoses.

"Just to have a warm, clean place available, clean needles to use...people will be able to inject in areas that are much safer for them," said Dr. Mark Tyndall, head of Infectious Disease at the Ottawa Hospital.

Protesters rally at Hill to call for supervised injection site in Ottawa

Calling on the City of Ottawa to endorse a supervised injection site for drug users, about 100 protesters gathered on the steps of Parliament Hill Sunday afternoon.

The Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites in Ottawa maintains that a facility, one similar to Vancouver’s Insite clinic, would reduce overdoses and infectious diseases, as well as refer drug users to addictions services.

But Ottawa Public Health said Sunday it has no plans to open such a service and is monitoring community discussions.

Safe injection site rally in Ottawa focuses on Ottawa Public Health

CBC Ottawa reports on the rally for supervised consumption sites held March 23 on Parliament Hill. 100 supporters showed up to call on city health officials to join them in leading the push for a medically supervised facility for drug users in Ottawa.

Manifestation pour un centre d’injection supervisée à Ottawa

Un groupe de citoyens en faveur de la mise en place d'un centre d'injection supervisée à Ottawa se sont rassemblés sur la colline du Parlement dimanche après-midi. Ils déplorent l'inaction de Santé publique Ottawa qui ne s'est toujours pas prononcée sur ce dossier.

Selon les organisateurs de la maniferstion, des surdoses surviennent quotidiennement dans les rues d'Ottawa et sont responsables de deux décès par mois. Le CSCS Ottawa (Campaign for Safer Consumption) soutient aussi qu'à Ottawa, le taux d'infection au VIH est le plus élevé de la province et que celui d'hépatite C est le plus élevé au pays.

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