CSCS Ottawa http://cscsottawa.ca en Cleaner and safer streets. Healthier communities. http://cscsottawa.ca/cleaner-and-safer-streets-healthier-communities <div class="field field-name-field-addthis field-type-addthis field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style " addthis:title="Cleaner and safer streets. Healthier communities. - CSCS Ottawa" addthis:url="http://cscsottawa.ca/cleaner-and-safer-streets-healthier-communities"><a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_facebook"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_twitter"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_google_plusone_share"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_email"></a> </div> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>The Campaign for Safer Consumption Sites in Ottawa was formed in response to an ongoing health crisis.</p> <p>Ottawa has Ontario’s highest rate of new HIV infection among injection drug users. 11% of people who inject drugs in Ottawa are infected with HIV, while 70% have contracted hepatitis C. Someone dies of drug overdose every 8 days in our city<span style="line-height: 1.538em;"> — deaths that could be prevented with timely medical intervention.</span></p> <p>Supervised consumption sites are public health facilities that offer a safe, hygienic place where people <span style="line-height: 1.538em;">can use their own drugs under medical supervision. </span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">Canada’s first supervised injection site, Insite, has been operating since 2003 in downtown Vancouver. </span>The evidence from Insite  – and from over 90 such sites around the world – proves that <span style="line-height: 1.538em;">supervised consumption sites </span><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">reduce the spread of diseases such as HIV, prevent </span><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">overdose deaths, and improve access to addiction treatment programs. They have also been shown to </span><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">encourage cleaner, safer streets by reducing public drug use </span><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">and drug equipment litter.</span></p> <div><strong style="line-height: 1.538em;">Opening supervised drug consumption sites in Ottawa will:</strong></div> <ul><li>Reduce the spread of HIV and hepatitis-C by providing sterile equipment and safe disposal for used needles</li> <li>Prevent deaths caused by overdose</li> <li>Decrease public drug use and drug-equipment litter</li> <li>Provide access to health and social services, such as first aid treatment and addiction recovery programs</li> </ul><p><!--break--></p> </div></div></div> Sun, 07 Jan 2018 04:18:35 +0000 Greg 134 at http://cscsottawa.ca http://cscsottawa.ca/cleaner-and-safer-streets-healthier-communities#comments Sandy Hill injection site faces further opening-date delay http://cscsottawa.ca/news/sandy-hill-injection-site-faces-further-opening-date-delay <div class="field field-name-field-addthis field-type-addthis field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style " addthis:title="Sandy Hill injection site faces further opening-date delay - CSCS Ottawa" addthis:url="http://cscsottawa.ca/news/sandy-hill-injection-site-faces-further-opening-date-delay"><a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_facebook"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_twitter"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_google_plusone_share"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_email"></a> </div> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>As temperatures drop, the indoor supervised injection site planned for the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre didn’t open by the end of October, as hoped. </p> <p>The health centre’s Nelson Street facility has been undergoing preparatory work on the site, but it says it’s still waiting on provincial funding for renovations – and those behind the Health-Canada approved project are hesitant about setting a new target date. </p> <p>An outdoor injection tent in a Lowertown park is filling what organizers say is an urgent need in the overdose crisis. Another injection site, in a trailer at the Shepherds of Good Hope on Murray Street, could be open as soon as this weekend.</p> <p>Rob Boyd, the health centre’s director of the Oasis harm reduction program, said the capital application was finalized about two weeks ago. The health centre had to get assessments on engineering and architecture before submitting the documents for provincial consideration.</p> <p>Boyd, who didn’t have the capital cost estimate immediately at hand, had hoped to have the supervised injection site open by now.</p> <p><!--break--></p><p>“It’s very frustrating to know we’re so close and not operating,” Boyd said, recognizing that there’s an immediate need for harm-reduction programs during an opioid crisis.</p> <p>Sandy Hill has received provincial approval for the operations cost, but it needs the capital funding approval to actually build the injection site at its Nelson Street facility.</p> <p>Boyd won’t make any more predictions on when Sandy Hill’s injection service will be available, not knowing how long the funding approval, construction tendering and construction will take.</p> <p>When the health centre has its supervised injection site constructed, it will need an all-clear by Health Canada to begin operations.</p> <p>The federal government granted Sandy Hill a conditional exemption last July to run a supervised injection site. The exemption is scheduled to expire on July 30, 2018.</p> <p>Ottawa Public Health is using Sandy Hill’s exemption to run its own supervised injection service on Clarence Street.</p> <p>On Monday night, the board of health gave OPH permission to seek its own federal exemption for the Clarence Street clinic. The approval could keep the clinic running after the Sandy Hill injection site opens.</p> <p>The Somerset West Community Health Centre has also applied to host an injection site at its Eccles Street facility. </p> <p><em>By Jon Willing</em><br /><em>Source: <a href="http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/sandy-hill-injection-site-faces-further-opening-date-delay" target="_blank">Ottawa Citizen</a></em></p> </div></div></div> Tue, 31 Oct 2017 04:00:00 +0000 Greg 336 at http://cscsottawa.ca http://cscsottawa.ca/news/sandy-hill-injection-site-faces-further-opening-date-delay#comments Health board backs permanent status for Clarence Street injection site http://cscsottawa.ca/news/health-board-backs-permanent-status-for-clarence-street-injection-site <div class="field field-name-field-addthis field-type-addthis field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style " addthis:title="Health board backs permanent status for Clarence Street injection site - CSCS Ottawa" addthis:url="http://cscsottawa.ca/news/health-board-backs-permanent-status-for-clarence-street-injection-site"><a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_facebook"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_twitter"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_google_plusone_share"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_email"></a> </div> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Ottawa's Board of Health is recommending the temporary supervised injection site at 179 Clarence St. get a separate exemption from Health Canada so it can stay open as long as it takes to evaluate the need for a more permanent site.</p> <p>Dr. Isra Levy, the city's medical officer of health, said it amounted to a technical detail in the exemption from the federal government that allowed Ottawa Public Health (OPH) to open the Clarence Street location while waiting for the permanent site at the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre to open.</p> <p>Levy said the current wording of the exemption would force the Clarence location to close as soon as Sandy Hill opened, despite the Board of Health's instruction to evaluate it after four months of operation.</p> <p>"The original intent was that we do do that, we show up here again with recommendations based on data, based on our experience in the first four months," Levy said. " We didn't want that to be interrupted based on a technical administrative issue."</p> <p>OPH told the board there were 82 clients and 359 encounters at Clarence Street in its first 26 days of operation. </p> <p><!--break--></p><p>"We've had excellent interactions with people," Levy said. "We've been able to suggest to people a different way of doing things in the future, including receiving medical and, specifically, treatment services. So, so far, so good."</p> <p>Centre, said he doesn't know when the permanent site will be open.</p> <p>"To be this close in the midst of the crisis and not to be operating is a very frustrating place for us to be in," he said. "We want to get this up and operating as soon as possible."</p> <p>Back in July, Boyd had set a target of early October for the site to open, but on Monday night he said he's reluctant to set a new target date.</p> <p>"I don't want to make any more predictions as to when we could open. We've been told it could be any time now that we could get the approval from the ministry," she said.  </p> <p>That would be followed by putting out a tender, construction, and another final inspection from Health Canada before the site could open.</p> <p>A spokesperson for Ontario's Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care said the province has "flowed" more than $1 million to the Sandy Hill site and is working with the federal government and the city to make sure the approvals happen as "smoothly as possible."</p> <p>Over the weekend, Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins wrote to his federal counterpart in support of a new supervised injection site operated by Inner City Health.</p> <p>The report on the Clarence Street site also noted that OPH had advised the city's fleet management service that there could be a need for a three-quarter tonne van for a mobile supervised injection site.</p> <p>Sean O'Leary, executive director of We The Parents, said suburban parents in his organization are opposed to the idea of a mobile injection site. His group has been advocating for more detox and treatment facilities for teenagers who have opioid disorders.</p> <p>Levy said there was no current proposal to have a mobile site and that public health had to notify the fleet department of the possibility, should his department want to move in that direction at any point in 2018.</p> <p>"It's still very much in the air. We haven't come to any kind of real suggestion around what an operation model of what that will look like, let alone what it will cost, let alone made a policy recommendation," he said.</p> <p>OPH currently operates an on-call harm reduction service that provides needles and other services, but does not offer supervised injection. Levy said he is supportive of combining those services in some way.<span style="font-size: 13.008px;"> </span></p> <p>The city report said any permanent use of the Clarence Street site or development of a mobile injection site program would require separate approvals and applications from other orders of government.</p> <p><em>By Matthew Kupfer</em><br /><em>Source: <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/clarence-street-sandy-hill-delay-supervised-injection-1.4379558" target="_blank">CBC News</a></em></p> </div></div></div> Tue, 31 Oct 2017 04:00:00 +0000 Greg 335 at http://cscsottawa.ca http://cscsottawa.ca/news/health-board-backs-permanent-status-for-clarence-street-injection-site#comments Province supports new Inner City Health supervised injection site http://cscsottawa.ca/news/province-supports-new-inner-city-health-supervised-injection-site <div class="field field-name-field-addthis field-type-addthis field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style " addthis:title="Province supports new Inner City Health supervised injection site - CSCS Ottawa" addthis:url="http://cscsottawa.ca/news/province-supports-new-inner-city-health-supervised-injection-site"><a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_facebook"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_twitter"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_google_plusone_share"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_email"></a> </div> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Ottawa’s largest permanent supervised injection site could be open in a Lowertown trailer as soon as this weekend.</p> <p>The trailer, to be operated by Ottawa Inner City Health and located outside Shepherds of Good Hope on Murray Street, will be open 24/7 and serve a population of between 100 and 150 injection drug users, said Inner City Health executive director Wendy Muckle.</p> <p>Ontario’s Health Minister Eric Hoskins has endorsed the site in a letter to federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, his office said Monday.</p> <p>“Inner City Health has proposed to expand existing community outreach work to support those most at risk of overdose and connect people with vital health care supports, including substance use treatment and counseling,” Hoskins said in a statement.</p> <p>Rideau-Vanier, he noted, has the highest geographical proportion of people who use drugs in Ottawa “by a large degree.”</p> <p>Hoskins noted that 40 residents died in Ottawa in 2016 from opioid overdoses.</p> <p><!--break--></p><p>“Any loss of life as a result of an opioid overdose is a needless, preventable tragedy,” he said.</p> <p>The renovated 11-by-44-foot trailer that will become the city’s newest supervised injection site will include eight injection booths, as well as a lounge area with a television and video games where people can stay after they have injected, said Muckle.</p> <p>The “clubhouse model” of a supervised injection site is unusual, said Muckle. “Most don’t have a recreation area,” she said. “We would like them to hang out for awhile.”</p> <p>Inner City Health is waiting for its formal exemption from Health Canada. Muckle said Ontario’s support was the last piece of the application for an exemption from federal drug laws that would allow the site to operate legally. She said she hopes it will come by the end of the week. The trailer should be ready by mid-week.</p> <p>Once it opens, the trailer will become the second approved site in Ottawa. Last month, Ottawa Public Health opened a small supervised injection site on Clarence Street which is open in the evening and has two injection booths.</p> <p>The Sandy Hill Community Health Centre is renovating a space for another permanent supervised injection site, expected to open by the end of the year.</p> <p>Meanwhile, an unsanctioned pop-up injection site located in a Lowertown park has had 2,868 visits since it opened in August, 67 days ago. More than 100 people visited the site over the weekend before rainy and windy weather forced it to close for two nights. Run by volunteers, it operates without an exemption from Health Canada.</p> <p>Muckle said there have been discussions between Inner City Health and the volunteers who run the pop-up site about helping people to transition to the trailer run by Inner City Health.</p> <p>Volunteers with Overdose Prevention Ottawa, who run the pop-up site, have said they will keep it running until it is no longer needed.</p> <p>Ottawa’s overdose crisis escalated rapidly during 2017, starting with several high profile overdoses early in the year.</p> <p>In August, overdose prevention workers at Inner City Health and Shepherds assisted with 45 overdoses. In September, that number increased to 75.</p> <p>Muckle said there were fewer overdoses in October, largely because of urgent practices put in place, including the hiring of peer support workers, frequent bed checks and closer monitoring.</p> <p>She calls it the “ICU model” of overdose prevention, something that is difficult to maintain.</p> <p>“We just have to get everybody through until the trailer opens.”</p> <p>She said the new supervised injection site should make a difference, but it is not a solution to the crisis.</p> <p>“It won’t be the be-all and the end-all. It is one thing we need to get into place but it is not the long game.”</p> <p><em>By Elizabeth Payne</em><br /><em>Source: <a href="http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/province-supports-new-inner-city-health-supervised-injection-site" target="_blank">Ottawa Citizen</a></em></p> </div></div></div> Mon, 30 Oct 2017 04:00:00 +0000 Greg 334 at http://cscsottawa.ca http://cscsottawa.ca/news/province-supports-new-inner-city-health-supervised-injection-site#comments Front-line workers give drug users 'clean drugs' to battle spike in opioid overdoses http://cscsottawa.ca/news/front-line-workers-give-drug-users-clean-drugs-to-battle-spike-in-opioid-overdoses <div class="field field-name-field-addthis field-type-addthis field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style " addthis:title="Front-line workers give drug users &amp;#039;clean drugs&amp;#039; to battle spike in opioid overdoses - CSCS Ottawa" addthis:url="http://cscsottawa.ca/news/front-line-workers-give-drug-users-clean-drugs-to-battle-spike-in-opioid-overdoses"><a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_facebook"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_twitter"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_google_plusone_share"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_email"></a> </div> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Workers on the front lines of Ottawa's opioid crisis say allowing drug users to consume drugs at supervised injection sites is not enough to prevent overdose deaths — so they are going one step further.</p> <p>Ottawa Inner City Health began providing a small group of users with "clean" drugs in September following a rapid rise in the number of overdoses from street drugs contaminated with fentanyl over the summer.</p> <p>"They're bringing in drugs that are laced with fentanyl, so the thought would be, if we're going to have supervised safe drug injection sites, why would we allow them to still inject poison?" said Dr. Jeff Turnbull, the chief physician for Ottawa Inner City Health, which provides health care to the homeless.</p> <p>"Why would we not allow them to inject pharmaceutical-grade medications?"</p> <p>Seven patients began receiving a combination of oral and intravenous doses of the painkiller hydromorphone, or Dilaudid, last month, and Turnbull wants to increase that to 40 users over the next month.</p> <p>Turnbull said the number of overdoses in Ottawa was four cases a month in June. Now it has risen to four a day, he said.</p> <p>"We've seen a dramatic change over the last three or four months," he said. "We've had many deaths. So our job right now, what we're struggling to do, is just keep people alive."</p> <p><!--break--></p><p>This is the first time outside of Vancouver, often seen as ground zero in Canada's opioid epidemic, that drug users have been given pharmaceutical-grade drugs to replace what they buy on the street.</p> <p>The patients are given doses in an effort to stabilize their addiction.</p> <p>The goal is for drug users to focus on other problems, such as mental health, and eventually lower the dose, or move to a methadone treatment program.</p> <p>The new federal health minister, Ginette Petitpas Taylor, recently told CBC News she is working to make it easier for physicians to prescribe methadone, a synthetic opioid used to help people taper off their use of heroin and other opioids.</p> <p>Turnbull said the patients he wants to have in his program would already have failed treatment programs using methadone or Suboxone, another drug used to treat opioid addiction.</p> <p>"It would just be for those very select group of individuals who have failed those other treatment programs, and are at highest risk of death," he said.</p> <p>The program isn't without hurdles, including a need for more staff and funding.</p> <p>"Some of it we're paying for out of donations. We're just trying to scrape together whatever we can scrape together to make it happen," said Wendy Muckle, the executive director of Ottawa Inner City Health.</p> <p>She estimates the cost to run the larger program for 40 drug users would be an estimated $400,000 annually.</p> <p>Muckle has submitted a funding proposal to the local area health network.</p> <p>"Our organization is in crisis because of this crisis. All available manpower, all available funding, all the resources are coming to deal with this," Muckle said. "The programs that are not directly involved in this are somewhat neglected right now."</p> <p>Earlier this month, British Columbia released the province's first set of guidelines for prescribing injectable treatments for opioid addiction.</p> <p>Turnbull is working with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario to create similar guidelines for the province.</p> <p>"This is obviously new and it's challenging for all of us. It's not what I thought I would end up doing. But this is where I need to be to serve these individuals," he said.</p> <p>Although Ottawa may be the first city outside of Vancouver to give opioids to drug users, Turnbull said other cities in Canada will shortly follow suit.</p> <p>"Everybody is thinking about it," he said. "I can tell you there will be many other people not too far behind."</p> <p>By Susan Lunn<br />Source: <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/opioid-ottawa-clean-drugs-replacement-1.4372838" target="_blank">CBC News</a></p> </div></div></div> Thu, 26 Oct 2017 04:00:00 +0000 Greg 333 at http://cscsottawa.ca http://cscsottawa.ca/news/front-line-workers-give-drug-users-clean-drugs-to-battle-spike-in-opioid-overdoses#comments City could make supervised injection site on Clarence Street permanent http://cscsottawa.ca/news/city-could-make-supervised-injection-site-on-clarence-street-permanent <div class="field field-name-field-addthis field-type-addthis field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style " addthis:title="City could make supervised injection site on Clarence Street permanent - CSCS Ottawa" addthis:url="http://cscsottawa.ca/news/city-could-make-supervised-injection-site-on-clarence-street-permanent"><a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_facebook"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_twitter"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_google_plusone_share"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_email"></a> </div> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>The city's health board wants approval from the federal government to keep the interim supervised injection site in Lowertown open longer than originally planned and possibly make it permanent. </p> <p>In a report to be tabled at the board of health meeting next week, staff recommend the medical officer of health apply for an exemption from Health Canada to operate the site at 179 Clarence St. </p> <p>The interim site was set up in late September as a response to the growing opioid crisis, using an exemption already approved for the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre at 221 Nelson St. </p> <p>The temporary site opened just a few blocks away from an illegal supervised injection site run by the Overdose Prevention Ottawa group, which has seen regular visits from drug users over the last couple months.</p> <p>Ottawa Public Health (OPH) had previously agreed to assess what to do with the interim site after 120 days of operation, but now staff are recommending the health department act sooner. </p> <p><!--break--></p><p>The report recommends staff ask for an extension beyond the 120-day operation schedule "to avoid a disruption" in harm reduction services on Clarence Street and secure funding from the province should it be turned into a permanent facility. </p> <p>OPH has also submitted a fleet request for a van for mobile overdose prevention services. That also has to be approved by Health Canada and would require funding from the province, the report noted. </p> <p>Earlier this month, the Shepherds of Good Hope in the ByWard Market opened a construction trailer in its parking lot to be used as another supervised injection site. <span style="font-size: 13.008px;"> </span></p> <p>The board of health will discuss the report on Oct. 30. </p> <p><em>Source: <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/city-supervised-injection-site-permanent-1.4368079" target="_blank">CBC News</a></em></p> </div></div></div> Tue, 24 Oct 2017 04:00:00 +0000 Greg 332 at http://cscsottawa.ca http://cscsottawa.ca/news/city-could-make-supervised-injection-site-on-clarence-street-permanent#comments Cheque day: When the opioid crisis crashes down on Ottawa's ByWard Market http://cscsottawa.ca/news/cheque-day-when-the-opioid-crisis-crashes-down-on-ottawas-byward-market <div class="field field-name-field-addthis field-type-addthis field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style " addthis:title="Cheque day: When the opioid crisis crashes down on Ottawa&amp;#039;s ByWard Market - CSCS Ottawa" addthis:url="http://cscsottawa.ca/news/cheque-day-when-the-opioid-crisis-crashes-down-on-ottawas-byward-market"><a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_facebook"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_twitter"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_google_plusone_share"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_email"></a> </div> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>One week last winter changed everything.</p> <p>On the last day of February, a woman in her mid-40s was found dead of a drug overdose in her bed at Shepherds of Good Hope, a homeless shelter at the corner of Murray Street and King Edward Avenue.</p> <p>Three days later, a woman in her 20s, a beloved member of the shelter community, was discovered showing no vital signs during an hourly bed check. She was given naloxone, CPR and rushed to hospital, but to no avail.</p> <p>Until then, drug deaths at the shelter had been extremely rare. Two in a week had never happened before in the three decades that staff there have ministered to the city’s homeless in the ByWard Market.</p> <p>Many workers were distraught. Frontline staff develop strong bonds to the damaged and vulnerable people who come to Shepherds as an island of safety in chaotic lives.</p> <p>“That was really jarring for us,” said Caroline Cox, senior manager of transitional shelter services at Shepherds. “That really didn’t happen before. And then it happened twice in one week.”</p> <p>Cox and her co-workers knew the deaths were not a tragic coincidence, but pointed toward a fundamental change in the city’s drug supply: the arrival of fentanyl. Staff feared that such overdose deaths would soon become the new normal.</p> <p>“I can’t do this every week,” an assistant manager warned Cox.</p> <p><!--break--></p><p>A sense of urgency gripped the shelter. Leaders at Shepherds and Ottawa Inner City Health, an organization that uses the shelter to deliver health care to the homeless, met to discuss ways to meet the fentanyl issue head on.</p> <p>They were well aware of the devastation wrought by the crisis on the streets of Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. It was now clear that Ottawa would not escape the scourge of fentanyl — a cheap and powerful synthetic opioid that can kill any user.</p> <p>The response of Shepherds and Inner City has dramatically changed the way they care for the city’s homeless. The organizations have introduced a raft of initiatives, including bed checks every 15 minutes, peer support workers, a medicinal opioid program and widespread naloxone distribution.</p> <p>While supervised injection sites, including the ByWard Market’s controversial pop-up tent, have sparked public debate, the steadfast work in and around the shelter has gone on with little notice. “We’re just trying to keep up and keep people alive,” says Anne Marie Hopkins, an Inner City Health supervisor. “Our community is being slammed.”</p> <p>Fentanyl has also changed the way many drug users look after themselves: They’re more likely to use together and in public now. If you’re overdosing, isolation can be a death sentence.</p> <p>All of it means that the ByWard Market is now the scene of a nightly life-and-death drama — the likes of which this city has never known. </p> <p>Friday night in the ByWard Market finds 44-year-old Jason Paul LeBlanc giving an impromptu, sidewalk demonstration: How to save someone who’s overdosed.</p> <p>LeBlanc — everyone calls him J.P. — is a peer outreach worker, one of 12 hired by Inner City Health during the past five months as part of its crisis-management strategy. Outreach workers patrol the streets of the market four nights a week, handing out clean needles, new crack pipes, test strips (to check drugs for the presence of fentanyl) and naloxone — the wonder drug, marketed as Narcan, that can reverse the effects of an otherwise fatal opioid overdose.</p> <p>LeBlanc shows a small group of users how to take a knuckle and rub it hard on a victim’s breastbone, and how to deliver a shot of Narcan nasal spray if there’s no response.</p> <p>“If someone’s ODing, they won’t be able to talk to you; they won’t be able to respond to you,” he explains.</p> <p>Adrian Johnson, 45, a veteran of Ottawa’s downtown streets, lies flat on the sidewalk so that LeBlanc can better demonstrate how to deliver the Narcan. “The fentanyl is here now; it’s in everything,” says Johnson, who describes himself as someone suffering addiction and mental health issues. “Things are changing in a severe way.”</p> <p>LeBlanc shows the assembled how to insert the Narcan nozzle into the victim’s nose and squeeze the device’s plunger. He tells them to wait three to five minutes for a response and, if there is none, to administer the drug a second time.</p> <p>For LeBlanc, the nightly outreach work is therapy of sorts.</p> <p>“I was on the street for 15 years,” he explains. “I was one of their (the shelter’s) biggest clients, and now that I’ve changed my life around, I get satisfaction out of trying to change other people’s lives.”</p> <p>LeBlanc’s life has been deeply scarred by addiction.</p> <p>He grew up in Cobourg. He played guitar, drums and tuba in his high school band. He would often babysit his younger siblings while his father and stepmother played bingo — and he was paid for his services, in beer. LeBlanc thought it was a great system, particularly since his friends were allowed to drink at his house.</p> <p>“Little did I know,” he says, “but it was sending me right down a path of destruction. I became a complete mess.”</p> <p>LeBlanc’s addictions blossomed. He lost a good-paying job clearing tree branches from hydro lines — “They tend to frown on people working around 27,000 volts who are strung out on heroin,” he says — and went into the grow-op business with some friends.</p> <p>But the success of that enterprise only fuelled his addictions. He moved to Ottawa and hit rock bottom in 2011 when his girlfriend suffered fatal complications from endocarditis, a side effect of intravenous drug use. (Dirty needles can send bacteria to damaged areas of the heart.) His girlfriend had two damaged valves replaced, but even in recovery, she couldn’t put the brakes on her injection drug use.</p> <p>“I couldn’t stop her,” LeBlanc says.</p> <p>In the wake of his girlfriend’s death, LeBlanc overcame his own heroin addiction with the assistance of counsellors at the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre. They helped him find stable housing, and he learned to replace heroin with exercise — running — and medicinal marijuana.</p> <p>As he took control of his own life, LeBlanc began to volunteer with organizations dedicated to advocating for drug decriminalization and harm reduction.</p> <p>In June, he won a job as a peer support outreach worker with Inner City Health.</p> <p>The idea behind the program is to employ people who already have a level of trust with drug users to educate and protect them. The outreach workers all have experienced homelessness and addiction — and can speak to users as fellow travellers on a hard road.</p> <p>“I want to let people know it doesn’t have to be this way,” LeBlanc says.</p> <p>Zack’s coat is three sizes too big. He takes it off and folds it carefully on top of his possessions, stuffed into three plastic bags, at Shepherds. His hands are dirty and track marks tattoo his forearms.</p> <p>Still, at 26, dressed in a white T-shirt and baggy gym shorts, it’s easy to imagine that he once held a basketball scholarship to a U.S. college. He lost that opportunity, he says, after developing a heroin addiction with a girlfriend in Utah.</p> <p>Toronto-born, he came to Ottawa to enter a drug-treatment program, but ended up on the street. Now, he sleeps most night at Shepherds.</p> <p>Zack remains addicted to heroin, and uses the drug alongside what he describes as “weed, alcohol, cocaine, crack cocaine … a little bit of speed here and there, you know …”</p> <p>On this Friday, he has just returned from using at the pop-up supervised injection site in nearby Raphael Brunet Park. Injecting at the site is one of the measures he’s taking to protect himself — and others — from fentanyl. In fact, among his possessions are seven naloxone kits: He carries the overdose antidote everywhere.</p> <p>Zack says he has rescued 21 overdose victims in the past month by injecting naloxone. Most of them were people he was using with; one or two were strangers he happened to discover. They all survived.</p> <p>“I’ve got a perfect record so far,” he says.</p> <p>Naloxone can be injected into the fatty tissue of an overdose victim or delivered through a nasal spray. Medical and social workers now carry it in kits hanging from their belts. Nurses from Inner City Health are dispatched at speed with extra doses when an overdose victim is reported nearby. Sometimes they’re forced to climb over fences or explore deep into alleys to find them. </p> <p>Quick access to naloxone is the difference between life and death.</p> <p>Last month, a drug user in a nearby housing unit died because those with him were unable to find anyone with the antidote in time. And one of Zack’s best friends, a dealer, died last month from touching drugs laced with carfentanil, one of the most powerful opioids ever developed. It’s used in veterinary medicine to anaesthetize large animals.</p> <p>Finding an overdose victim, Zack says, can be “creepy and sad at the same time.”</p> <p>“They turn greyish blue and life slowly drains out of them. All of a sudden, you see them just pretty much go to sleep. Their arms tighten up. Maybe their legs are shaking a bit. Their breathing could stop. It is scary. You have to react really quickly.”</p> <p>“Code Abby.” </p> <p>That’s the phrase that signals a drug user has overdosed and isn’t breathing. Staff at Shepherds are all equipped with walkie-talkies, and Code Abby sends the shelter’s nurses into high gear, running with oxygen and naloxone.</p> <p>Since two client deaths early this year, the shelter’s rescue workers have succeeded every time they’ve been sent into action. There have been some close calls.</p> <p>Because of the power of fentanyl, one dose of naloxone — even two — are sometimes not enough to reverse its effects: It can take four or five doses.  </p> <p>A client named Abby was one of the first at Shepherds to receive so many naloxone doses; her name has since become eponymous with overdose emergencies.</p> <p>Shelter staff have had no choice but to become efficient at dealing with overdoses because there are so many: As many as 60 a month in and around Shepherds. (These statistics are not counted by Ottawa Public Health, which publishes the number of overdose victims taken to hospital each month.)</p> <p>Anne Marie Hopkins says fentanyl has now invaded the city’s broader drug supply.</p> <p>Fentanyl has been found, she says, in drugs such as speed and crack cocaine, which are not opioids. “There’s fentanyl in absolutely everything,” she says, “so people who are normally not at risk of overdosing on it are suddenly at risk.”</p> <p>During the summer, the shelter experienced six overdoses in 40 minutes: Nurses were sprinting blocks away with naloxone. “They’re incredible at dealing with it and they’re heroic,” Hopkins says.</p> <p>They’re people such as Daniel Davidson, a soft-spoken giant with a nose ring who mans the front door at Shepherds five evenings a week.</p> <p>In recent months, he says he’s assisted 20 overdose victims and injected naloxone three times: “I have saved more than one person’s life. It feels good. But it’s heavy: It is a lot to think about sometimes.”</p> <p>On the streets of the ByWard Market, J.P. LeBlanc is a naloxone evangelist: He preaches its benefits to users gathered in parking lots and slumped against sheltered walls.</p> <p>“I want to get as many naloxone kits out as possible,” he says. “My goal is to educate people about overdoses and naloxone.”</p> <p>Naloxone was developed in the early 1960s at a New York lab using a synthetic derivative of morphine.</p> <p>The drug has miraculous properties: It blocks the brain’s opioid receptors and displaces opioids that are already there, allowing an overdose victim to quickly breathe again. (An opioid overdose depresses the central nervous and respiratory systems.) Naloxone is not addictive and doesn’t react badly with any other drug so administering it rarely causes harm.</p> <p>Outreach workers in the ByWard Market have given out 250 naloxone kits during the past five months.</p> <p>Still, LeBlanc encourages users to consume their drugs close to Shepherds: He wants them to be within easy striking distance of the shelter’s nursing staff.</p> <p>“You can’t shoot up alone anymore,” he warns.</p> <p>In the basement of Shepherds — a former Catholic boys’ school — is a narrow hallway with bedrooms on either side. The rooms all have bunk beds, which can together accommodate as many as 84 men.</p> <p>On this night, LeBlanc and a fellow peer support worker make their way down the hallway, flashlight in hand.</p> <p>They open one bedroom door and turn the flashlight onto each man’s chest to make sure he’s still breathing. Satisfied, they move on to the next room.</p> <p>The routine is repeated every 15 minutes all night. The outreach workers also check washrooms and dark corners of the building for overdose victims.</p> <p>Brain cells begin to die after about four minutes without oxygen. It means that someone who suffers a fentanyl overdose has to be discovered and given naloxone within that short window of time.</p> <p>“That’s fentanyl: It’s terrifying,” Hopkins says.</p> <p>In August 2016, the shelter recorded three drug overdoses. This August, it responded to 45 drug overdoses inside the building or nearby.</p> <p>“It’s just what happens here now,” says Hopkins, an Ottawa-born social worker who has been with Inner City Health for the past eight years. “You have to always know who’s coming in at high risk. It’s a lot more work. There’s so much more stress. It’s heavily emotional. It’s chaotic.</p> <p>“When a lot of people come it at once, keeping everyone safe is hard.”</p> <p>Cheque Day falls on the last weekday of every month, when government support programs issue their payments. In the ByWard Market, the day is widely known as Mardi Gras.</p> <p>The infusion of cash sends drug users on a buying spree and, every month, shelter staff brace for the fallout with extra staff and hyper vigilance. The commitment of shelter staff has likely saved dozens of lives.</p> <p>But Ottawa Inner City Health executive director Wendy Muckle worries that their luck cannot hold: “We have had some terribly close calls. It is really just a matter of time. We have to have a better solution.”</p> <p>New programs are already in the works. Inner City Health is applying for an exemption from the federal government that would allow regular clients to inject illegal drugs on the premises, supervised by nursing staff.</p> <p>It’s also applying to set up a supervised injection site in a trailer now behind Shepherds so that other users can take drugs safely. It can be ready within 24 hours of government approval, Muckle says. </p> <p>Inner City Health has also launched a managed opioid program in which users are given prescription opioids provided they give up their street drugs.</p> <p>The program — similar to Inner City’s internationally recognized managed-alcohol program — solves some critical issues: It reduces or eliminates overdoses, and it frees users from constantly trying to find money to buy drugs.</p> <p>Still, it has been a tough sell to the city’s injection drug users, who are reluctant to give up old habits for the structure of a managed program.</p> <p>For Alfred Newton, though, there was no other choice.</p> <p>The soft-spoken 39-year-old signed up in September after overdosing on heroin five times in one week: He overdosed on the street and, one time, in the kitchen at Shepherds. Without the managed program, he says, “I would be in a casket.”</p> <p>Newton receives two doses of synthetic heroin three times a day — one dose taken orally, and one injected. He injects alone in a room, supervised by a nurse watching on a webcam.</p> <p>Newton believes the program is already helping him: “My diet has already changed,” he says. “Everything has changed.” He’s now hoping to find a place to live that supports addicts and to move on “instead of being trapped.”</p> <p>In the meantime, those on the front lines wait anxiously for what comes next in the ever-changing opioid crisis.</p> <p>Ottawa police recently confirmed that the synthetic opioid carfentanil — a drug 100 times more potent that fentanyl — has been found in seized heroin caches in the city. Shelter officials knew it was here. For one thing, Hopkins says, carefentanil overdose victims tend to present differently: they often arch backwards and stiffen during overdoses. It can take up to 10 doses of naloxone to revive them, she says.</p> <p>Hopkins worries the dangerous new drug will only make a bad situation worse in the ByWard Market.</p> <p>Inner City Health used to concentrate on stabilizing the lives of their clients: finding them better housing and improving their health. They still do that work, Hopkins says, but increasingly their focus is on more immediate questions.</p> <p>“How are we going to keep people alive today? How are we going to keep people alive over the next four hours? What is happening at this moment outside? What drugs are outside right now? Where are people using? Do they have naloxone?</p> <p>“People’s lives are on the line right now. I have been around this community for almost 10 years and I have never seen anything like this.”</p> <p><em>By Andrew Duffy and Elizabeth Payne</em><br /><em>Source: <a href="http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/cheque-day-when-the-opioid-crisis-crashes-down-on-ottawas-byward-market" target="_blank">Ottawa Citizen</a></em></p> </div></div></div> Sat, 21 Oct 2017 04:00:00 +0000 Greg 331 at http://cscsottawa.ca http://cscsottawa.ca/news/cheque-day-when-the-opioid-crisis-crashes-down-on-ottawas-byward-market#comments Ten Years of Bad Policy Deepened Fentanyl Crisis, Says Senator http://cscsottawa.ca/news/ten-years-of-bad-policy-deepened-fentanyl-crisis-says-senator <div class="field field-name-field-addthis field-type-addthis field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style " addthis:title="Ten Years of Bad Policy Deepened Fentanyl Crisis, Says Senator - CSCS Ottawa" addthis:url="http://cscsottawa.ca/news/ten-years-of-bad-policy-deepened-fentanyl-crisis-says-senator"><a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_facebook"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_twitter"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_google_plusone_share"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_email"></a> </div> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>As the fentanyl epidemic spreads across Canada, a pioneer of supervised injection sites says the country would be better prepared to deal with the opioid crisis if it hadn’t suffered “10 years of darkness” under the Stephen Harper government.</p> <p>Independent Senator Larry Campbell oversaw the establishment of Vancouver’s first public safe injection site, Insite, in 2003 after being elected mayor, building on the work of his predecessor, Philip Owen.</p> <p>Almost 15 years later another 18 government-approved safe injection sites are operating across Canada.<span style="font-size: 13.008px;"> </span></p> <p>But they have all opened since 2015 as the fentanyl crisis brought record overdose deaths, particularly in British Columbia. Almost 2,000 people in the province have died of overdoses since January 2016, with 1,103 deaths so far this year. </p> <p>Campbell says the Conservatives aren’t to blame for the arrival of fentanyl, but the Harper government’s opposition to harm reduction measures hampered Canada’s ability to respond to the crisis.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">“Certainly if they had been more progressive in their drug policy I think we could have dealt with it, and if we had supervised injections sites and if we’d have had opioid treatment, I think it would have made a difference,” he said. “But it's all hindsight.”</span></p> <p><!--break--></p><p>Plans for a supervised safe injection site in in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside were a major issue in the 2002 municipal elections that saw Campbell, a former coroner, elected mayor.</p> <p>The site was able to open due to a exemption from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act provided by the then Liberal federal government. Campbell said at the time that he was expecting such facilities to crop up around the country.</p> <p>In 2006, the Conservatives, who opposed safe injection sites, were elected. In 2008 health minister Tony Clement called the site an “abomination” in a video recorded at an AIDS conference.</p> <p>The Conservatives launched a series of legal attacks on Insite, ending with a Supreme Court of Canada decision that the government’s effort to close the site violated users’ charter rights.</p> <p>The Conservatives also introduced a Respect for Communities Act to make it harder for new safe injection sites to be opened. The Liberal government reversed the legislation in May.</p> <p>Campbell pointed out the Conservatives even stopped using the term “harm reduction.”</p> <p>The Conservatives’ did not provide a response to Campbell’s when asked, but the party's views don’t seem to have changed.</p> <p>Recently new Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said he doesn’t believe supervised injection sites should be the focus on dealing with drug issues.</p> <p>Scheer told CBC News he thinks Canada should move past “supervised injection, where government makes it quote unquote safer to inject illicit drugs” and focus on helping people get off drugs.</p> <p>He said supervised injection sites continue the cycle of addiction. </p> <p>It’s hard to say how many lives more injection sites around Canada could have saved in the last 15 years, Campbell said. But he noted that Insite has seen more than a million injections and not a single death.</p> <p>Fifteen years later his regret is the city didn’t go big enough from the start.</p> <p>“I wish I had done four or five,” he said. “I think we would have seen a significant difference in the Downtown Eastside.”</p> <p>He cautions safe injection sites are not “a silver bullet” for opioid addiction and also regrets not pushing for opioid replacement therapy at the time.</p> <p>Under the Liberal government safe injection sites are popping up across Canada.</p> <p>There are now 18 operational sites and 11 applications being reviewed. The city of Ottawa has one site operating, one awaiting inspection and a third in the review process.</p> <p>The Shepherds of Good Hope, an advocacy organization for those on the street or in dire situations, hopes to operate one of the sites currently under review. The injection site would be housed in a trailer and be open 24 hours a day. The application was filed by Ottawa Inner City Health, which provides health care to the city’s street and homeless communities.</p> <p>The site is a short distance from Parliament Hill, but feels like another world. The neighbourhood is in the grip of addiction. Addicts in tattered clothing rest in groups on the bare concrete. The wounds of addiction and hard living are not hard to spot.</p> <p>The longer the wait for government approval, the greater the risk to lives, said Deidre Freiheit, CEO of Shepherds of Good Hope.</p> <p>“We want to be proactive so the minute it comes through — we hope it comes through any time — we'll be able to be up and running,” said Freiheit.</p> <p>Not long ago the area would have seen a handful of overdose deaths in the course of a year and now it’s a daily occurrence, she said.</p> <p>Freiheit said 500 people have been trained to use naloxone to reverse the effects of an overdose and staff have been “run off their feet” responding to overdoses in the community, logging 75 “reversals” from overdoses since the end of September alone. </p> <p>“We need to have the service in now,” Freiheit said.</p> <p>Just a few years ago nobody would have even tried to open a safe injection site in Ottawa, she said, and the resistance to the idea has frustrated outreach workers for years.</p> <p>It was difficult to convince the local populace of the benefits of safe injection sites, Freiheit said, but people are beginning to see its importance.</p> <p>“Over the summer people are understanding there is a crisis, maybe better than they had before,” she said. “I still think there’s a stigma attached. We've got a lot of work to do.”</p> <p>As Ottawa takes its first steps down the safe injection road, Campbell is focused on furthering harm reduction treatment and supporting the idea of legalizing opioids</p> <p>The injection sites were a good start, he said, but not the end game.</p> <p>In February Campbell told The Tyee he would be pushing for the legalization of opioids.</p> <p>“What we really want to see is a change in how we deal with drugs,” he said. “That’s a process, it’s not going to happen overnight.” </p> <p>By Jeremy J. Nuttall<br />Source: <a href="https://thetyee.ca/News/2017/10/17/Bad-Policy-Deepened-Fentanyl-Crisis/" target="_blank">The Tyee</a></p> </div></div></div> Tue, 17 Oct 2017 04:00:00 +0000 Greg 330 at http://cscsottawa.ca http://cscsottawa.ca/news/ten-years-of-bad-policy-deepened-fentanyl-crisis-says-senator#comments A space to shoot up, but no space for addiction treatment http://cscsottawa.ca/news/a-space-to-shoot-up-but-no-space-for-addiction-treatment <div class="field field-name-field-addthis field-type-addthis field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style " addthis:title="A space to shoot up, but no space for addiction treatment - CSCS Ottawa" addthis:url="http://cscsottawa.ca/news/a-space-to-shoot-up-but-no-space-for-addiction-treatment"><a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_facebook"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_twitter"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_google_plusone_share"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_email"></a> </div> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>Jonathan worries he may die before getting into an Ottawa treatment bed.</p> <p>The 24-year-old has been going to the unauthorized supervised injection site since it opened this summer.</p> <p>But for the last 10 days he's been coming to the Overdose Prevention Ottawa tents in Raphael Brunet Park looking for something more. He's been asking for help getting into treatment for his addiction.  </p> <p>A volunteer at the tent, Matthew St. Jean, a recovering addict himself, has been calling the Ottawa Withdrawal Management Centre, to get Jonathan into one of 26 beds that serve the entire region from Pembroke to Cornwall.</p> <p>The centre helps with withdrawal, and acts as one of the gateways into a longer-term program in a residential treatment facility.</p> <p>St. Jean made a number of calls during an interview with CBC News, but each call went directly to voicemail.</p> <p>St. Jean said he recently had success getting through for a user, only to find by the time the person got to the centre, the bed was gone.</p> <p>"We're making the calls and making the calls," said St. Jean, who explained he's been trying to get Jonathan in for almost two weeks.</p> <p>"He was good for the two weeks, but it's a slippery slope," he said. "You could end up using again. There's definitely not enough resources in Ottawa, at all."</p> <p><!--break--></p><p>The Ontario government announced $222 million over three years in new spending to help communities' treatment and harm reduction strategies as a response to the opioid crisis.</p> <p>So far in Ottawa, close to $2 million has been spent on harm reduction strategies to stem the alarming tide of overdoses.</p> <p>The money has been used to supply naloxone and training for first responders, as well as opening up supervised injection sites.</p> <p>As for actual treatment, to date, $265,000 has been spent to hire a couple of counsellors, a nurse and a nurse practitioner for community-based services.</p> <p>No new treatment beds are expected to open. </p> <p>"We need to move fast on this," said Kevin Barclay, a director with the Champlain Local Health Integration Network, noting more money is expected for treatment.</p> <p>"You can more effectively and rapidly deploy human resources than you can build beds."</p> <p>Meanwhile, the province is spending close to $2 million on harm-reduction strategies, such as opening supervised injection sites as well as training and equipping first responders with the antidote naloxone, used in overdose emergencies, according to data obtained by CBC News.</p> <p>Many of the people working closest with injection drug users argue the emphasis on harm reduction is critical, since saving lives must be the priority.</p> <p>But some advocates want to see more commitment to treatment, and the longer-term fix. </p> <p>"When it comes to cancer, heart institute, eye institute, pediatrics, CHEO, the sky's the limit," said addiction specialist Dr. Mark Ujjainwalla. "But for [addiction treatment] what they're telling taxpayers is these people are hopeless, they will never get better, and the best we can do for them is let them inject."</p> <p>Ujjainwalla runs Recovery Ottawa, a methadone clinic serving some 1,500 patients seeking treatment.</p> <p>But using methadone as an alternative drug to avoid more harmful drugs like heroin and fentanyl is just the beginning of a successful, long-term treatment plan, according to Ujjainwalla.</p> <p>Ujjainwalla said finding patients access to psychiatric or psychological services, pain clinics, outpatient addiction services or treatment beds can mean months of waiting. In the case of the pain management clinic at the Ottawa Hospital, the wait is from six months to a year.</p> <p>Ujjainwalla said a flow chart of someone who needs help now always leads to the same outcome.</p> <p>"Unfortunately, you always end up back on the street, or the emergency room, or jail or dead. So, those are your outcomes," he said.</p> <p>"Which is very sad, and it makes me as an addiction physician feel very badly for these people because they have a treatable illness."</p> <p>"My worst fear now is getting denied," said Jonathan, who has been shooting heroin for the last eight months.</p> <p>Jonathan has been trying to stay off drugs on his own for the last 10 days, but his abstinence is fragile.</p> <p>Four days ago he broke down and shot up again.</p> <p>Still, he hasn't given up. But if he doesn't get into a treatment bed soon, he's afraid of what could happen.<span style="font-size: 13.008px;"> </span></p> <p>"I'll gradually get worse. I'll probably die … That's my only thing I'm looking forward to is getting clean."</p> <p><em>By Amanda Pfeffer</em><br /><em>Source: <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/injection-safe-addiction-fentanyl-treatment-tent-1.4352355" target="_blank">CBC News</a></em></p> </div></div></div> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 04:00:00 +0000 Greg 329 at http://cscsottawa.ca http://cscsottawa.ca/news/a-space-to-shoot-up-but-no-space-for-addiction-treatment#comments Parents fill treatment gap with pilot project for drug-addicted youth http://cscsottawa.ca/news/parents-fill-treatment-gap-with-pilot-project-for-drug-addicted-youth <div class="field field-name-field-addthis field-type-addthis field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style " addthis:title="Parents fill treatment gap with pilot project for drug-addicted youth - CSCS Ottawa" addthis:url="http://cscsottawa.ca/news/parents-fill-treatment-gap-with-pilot-project-for-drug-addicted-youth"><a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_facebook"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_twitter"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_google_plusone_share"></a> <a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=250" class="addthis_button_email"></a> </div> </div></div></div><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p>A group of Ottawa parents concerned about the rise in opioid overdoses in the city is filling what they see as a gap in the system for helping drug addicted youth. </p> <p>We the Parents is starting a substance and opioid use pilot program to help teens in the city's west end who have drug issues discuss problems and find peer support. But executive director Sean O'Leary, who founded the group to find help for his 17-year-old daughter Paige, says he's frustrated money has been made available for harm-reduction strategies such as supervised injection sites and not treatment programs. </p> <p>Without government funding, We the Parents will rely entirely on corporate and private donors and, as of Thursday, had raised just under half of its estimated $287,000 yearly operating budget. </p> <p>In a meeting held Thursday night, O'Leary said he approached the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Health for $150,000. He hoped the money could come from provincial money handed over to the City of Ottawa, earmarked for the creation of more detox and treatment spaces, as well as to equip police and firefighters with naloxone kits.</p> <p><!--break--></p><p>The weekly volunteer-led program would be similar to Alcoholics Anonymous but specially designed for youth, said O'Leary. The group will also be running meetings twice a month for parents of drug-addicted youth, as well as monthly educational seminars for the general public, he said.</p> <p>Group facilitators will receive training through a free program called SMART Recovery, he said.</p> <p>The meetings — which will start Oct. 20 — also incorporate a social element, allowing teens time to spend together after each session. The people leading the groups will be closer to the teens' age, too.</p> <p>O'Leary said this program would especially help teens struggling after completing other treatment programs.</p> <p>"Often, when [teens] try to stop doing drugs they end up being isolated. And they're isolated for a while and eventually they go back to their old friends," he said.</p> <p>"And that's part of the stigma because it's hard for them to get new friends that don't do drugs because people are scared of their kids hanging out with our kids that are known to do drugs."</p> <p>Stephanie Moscrip is a mother of 11-year-old twins in grade 6. She went to her second We the Parents meeting Thursday because she worries about what her kids could face when they enter middle school next year.</p> <p>"Absolutely, I'm concerned. They're just kids. They don't have that rational processing that we have as adults. If they're exposed to those choices, you don't know what choice they're going to make," she said.</p> <p>Former B.C. health minister Terry Lake also spoke at Thursday's meeting.</p> <p>"I've seen the controversy around overdose prevention sites, for instance. There shouldn't be a controversy. We should be keeping people alive."</p> <p>According to Ottawa Public Health, up to the end of September, Ottawa has had 255 opioid-related overdose visits to the emergency room in 2017, or an average 30 per month. But said there has been an increase in those numbers over the past few months.</p> <p><em>By Kimberley Molina</em><br /><em>Source: <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/we-the-parents-pilot-project-drug-addiction-1.4352946" target="_blank">CBC News</a></em></p> </div></div></div> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 04:00:00 +0000 Greg 328 at http://cscsottawa.ca http://cscsottawa.ca/news/parents-fill-treatment-gap-with-pilot-project-for-drug-addicted-youth#comments