The Insite decision and the case for supervised consumption facilities in Ottawa

Professor Suzanne Bouclin of the Ottawa University Faculty of Law and Priyanka Vittal, a law student & CSCS volunteer, have co-authored a paper on the 2011 Supreme Court decision in favour of Insite remaining open, and what the decision means for the possibility of similar sites opening in Ottawa. The article is available in the December issue of the Canadian Journal of Poverty Law, and offers a valuable analysis of the legal aspects of this issue.

On September 29, 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously ruled to allow a safer supervised consumption facility (SCF) to remain open under a section 56 exemption of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The decision has lent additional legitimacy to SCFs as a necessary health care service that is part of a comprehensive and holistic drug and addiction strategy. In part one of this comment, we describe the context in which Insite emerged in Vancouver, British Columbia. In part two, we discuss the legal mobilization that led to the Supreme Court decision and the framework under which Insite currently operates. In part three, we explore the decision’s implications for another jurisdiction – Ottawa, Ontario.

Read the full article here (PDF)

Group hopes for safe drug consumption site in Ottawa

On the busy streets of the ByWard Market, people are always in a rush to get where they need to be. Nobody grants the man sitting on the sidewalk, holding an empty cup, any attention.

Though he is asking for money, he does not raise his eyes to meet anyone. His clothes are torn, his skin dirtied from nights of sleeping on the streets. Most passersby also avert their eyes of the man standing behind him. Christopher Dalton is here to lend his voice to the voiceless.

Insite - Not just injecting, but connecting

This video about Insite, created by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, is an amazing look at the program, the people, and the vital place it holds in the community. Supervised consumption sites are about so much more than using drugs - they're also about compassionate health care, forming respectful connections with people, and providing help when it's needed.

Harm reduction lessons from Europe

What can the Netherlands and Germany teach Ottawa about supervised drug consumption rooms and the treatment of drug addicts?

That’s the question representatives from the Somerset West Community Health Centre recently tried to answer during a fact-finding trip to Europe.

Joining staff and board members from the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre, our team met with government officials and harm reduction experts, as well as frontline workers and engaged community members who live near supervised drug consumption facilities.

Breaking the Taboo - Thanks for joining us!

Thank you to everyone who made it out to our movie night tonight! A big thanks to Gilles from DUAL for sharing his experience, to Chris for answering questions about the campaign, and to OPIRG for co-hosting the event.

You can sign on to the Break the Taboo campaign's call to world leaders to end the war on drugs and move towards a system based on decriminalisation, regulation, public health and education at breakingthetaboo.com.

Check out the Drug Users Advocacy League online at dualottawa.ca, and don't forget to like them on Facebook!

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.

Breaking the Taboo

Join us on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 7pm at the Arts Court Theatre, as we present Breaking the Taboo as part of OPIRG's Resistance on Reels Film Festival!

Breaking the Taboo - January 17

A documentary on the failed war on drugs across the globe, Breaking the Taboo sheds light on realities of the drug war industry from the first hand experiences ranging from former offenders to former presidents. This documentary is a call to action for our leaders to improve drug policies to include decriminalization, regulation, public health and education. What will it take to end the war on drugs?

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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