Ontario regions hit hardest by the opioid crisis may not get supervised drug-use sites (BCCSU)

The Ontario government is promising to approve 21 supervised drug-use sites in places hard hit by the opioid crisis, but some of the communities with the province’s highest rates of opioid-related deaths and hospital admissions won’t be on the list.

Health Minister Christine Elliott announced in October the government would create a new system, called consumption and treatment services, and that anyone wishing to operate a site, including those that had received prior approval, would have to apply through the new program. The province says the sites will be approved starting this month and that all will be running by April.

The decision to limit the number of sites to 21 is shortsighted, said Thomas Kerr, senior scientific adviser and senior scientist at the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) who has conducted extensive research on supervised drug-use sites.

Carly Weeks reports.

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