World Hepatitis Day 2012

July 28 is World Hepatitis Day, dedicated to raising awareness for this virus that infects 1 in 12 people worldwide. Hepatitis C is a a blood-borne virus that attacks the liver causing inflammation and scarring. It can lead to long-term complications such as liver damage, liver failure, and liver cancer.

The primary risk factor for hepatitis C transmission is injection drug use, through the sharing of infected needles. In Canada, 3 out of 4 new infections are related to injection drug use. In Ottawa, 60% of injection drug users have contracted hepatitis C.

Drug User Memorial Day - July 2012

Last Friday, July 20, 2012, we joined together for Drug User Memorial Day at Cathcart Park in the Byward Market. Events included a speaker's circle, a smudge ceremony, beautiful drumming and singing from Ottawa's Aboriginal Elders and a luncheon at St. Bridgid's. The event was organized by the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre & the Drug User's Advocacy League (DUAL) with support from a collection of community organizers, the Youth Services Bureau (YSB) and the AIDS Committee of Ottawa (ACO).

Ottawa should move quickly to open a supervised consumption site

Dr. Mark Tyndall, head of infectious diseases at the Ottawa Hospital, discusses the need for a supervised injection facility in Ottawa. He compares the situation in Ottawa today to that in Vancouver 10 years ago, before Insite opened.

Remembering those lost on Drug User Memorial Day

On Friday July 20, 2012 our friends at DUAL (Drug User Advocacy League) are organizing a Drug User Memorial event in Ottawa's Cathcart Park at 10am to remember friends and loved ones who have touched our lives. Please join us.

Drug User Memorial Day - July 20, 2012

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.

Documentary on Insite, Canada's first supervised consumption site

This documentary from National Geographic examines Insite, Canada's first supervised consumption site, which provides a safe and clean environment for people in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside to use drugs and connect with health care & social services.


National Geographic's Taboo: Shooting heroin legally - Part 1


National Geographic's Taboo: Shooting heroin legally - Part 2

Please note that this documentary includes graphic footage of intravenous drug injection.

Insite saves lives

What might a supervised consumption site look like in Ottawa? Take a look at Insite in Vancouver, which has saved hundreds of lives and millions in health care dollars since it opened in 2003.

Learn more about Insite, North America's first supervised consumption facility, on their website.

Let's keep the conversation going

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend our screening of "Bevel Up". The movie exposed many of the challenges that people who use drugs face in accessing health and social services, and demonstrated the essential care that outreach nurses provide. A special thank you to our excellent panelists who fielded an array of questions and comments during the lively discussion that followed the movie.

Right now, the conversation about safe consumption sites is at the forefront in Ontario. You can help us keep this conversation going.

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.

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