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.

Creation of two drug injection facilities recommended for Ottawa

A team of researchers Wednesday recommended the creation of two supervised injection facilities in Ottawa and three in Toronto.

After what is thought to be the broadest study of its kind, the researchers concluded that such facilities would improve the health and reduce harm among drug users. They could also reduce public drug use and save money for the health system, they said.

CSCS Ottawa selected as a recipient of PROM Fund 2012

We're excited and honoured to be named among the recipients of PROM Fund 2012!

Now in its fifth year, Promdemonium is Ottawa's radical, community-oriented, gender-bending, bike-loving, enviro-humping, queer-positive, slow dancing, big dress wearing prom that you never had. Not only that, it's also a fundraiser - which means you can get your dance on while supporting great local community initiatives.

Bevel Up film screening - April 17

We are pleased to announce our next event, a screening of the movie "Bevel Up: Drugs, Users, and Outreach Nursing". The movie will be followed by a panel discussion on the topics of outreach nursing in our community and the need for safer consumption facilities in Ottawa.

Safe is the New Risky

Dr. Mark Tyndall thinks the national capital needs a safe injection site. But championing the cause of harm reduction is proving to be a hard sell.

Do you care whether David Becker lives or dies? Perhaps that isn’t a fair question, considering you don’t even know the guy.

A stern letter to our city officials, composed one day after the INSITE Supreme Court ruling

On October 1st 2011, one day after the Supreme Court delivered their ruling about INSITE, North America's only sanctioned safe injection facility, I wrote a very stern letter to some select city officials (some of which since moved on..). Here it is (*clears throat*):

Dear Mayor Jim Watson and (now former) Chief of the Ottawa Police Vern White,

Supervised Injection Sites and Needle Exchanges: Why harm reduction matters for public health

By Julia Burpee

“Addiction is a really lonely thing. You think you’re basically the only person on the planet … that’s the way I felt,” says Sean LeBlanc, 37, explaining that five years ago he was homeless and injecting heroin every day.

Harm reduction services helped him recover from his addiction, he says. Safe needle exchanges operated out of community health centres and mobile vans, referrals to addictions treatment, community outreach workers and peer support groups are part of the harm reduction public health model.

Insite: ‘Too early to tell’ if it works?

In the 1990s, Vancouver was Canada’s capital of drug-related crime and home to the fastest-growing AIDS epidemic in North America. Back then, drug users injecting were a common sight in the city’s Downtown Eastside. They were doing so against the backdrop of a changing HIV epidemic in Canada, with the concentration of the disease shifting from men who have sex with men to addicts sharing needles.

Thus, the city on Canada’s west coast was a fitting locale for Insite, the first safe-injection site on the continent. Allowing people to use pre-obtained drugs under medical supervision could potentially reduce the harms associated with this type of drug use—namely, the risk of overdose and infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C.

Why Ottawa needs some Insite

Last week's unanimous Supreme Court decision that allows Vancouver to operate Insite, North America's first supervised injection site, was a victory for harm reduction and a ringing endorsement for a more sensible approach to illicit drug use in Canada. The court battle essentially pitted a highly successful evidence-based program that saves lives, reduces drug use, and connects drug users to health care services against our federal government's commitment to stopping drug use through criminal deterrents.

‘Dark ages thinking’ on harm reduction

While he was deputy chief of the Ottawa Police Service, Larry Hill fought for a harm reduction program for crack addicts – a crack pipe program – calling the prevailing view among police chiefs at the time “dark ages thinking” on harm reduction.

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