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Supervised consumption sites

Supervised consumption sites (SCS) help save lives and create safer communities. They provide a safe and clean space for people to use their own drugs under the care of nursing staff. They can connect clients to doctors, treatment and other health and social services.

The agencies leading an SCS application for Barrie are the Gilbert Centre, Canadian Mental Health Association- Simcoe Branch and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. These agencies are working on behalf of the harm reduction pillar of the Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy (SMOS). Over the next several months these agencies will consult with Barrie community members and key stakeholders to get feedback on a supervised consumption site. This feedback will be addressed in the SCS application for Barrie. Updates as the consultation process nears will appear in the Updates To Consultation bar below.

SMOS is a community collaborative aimed at reducing opioid harms in Simcoe and Muskoka.  In 2017-2018, SMOS developed and began implementing an Action Plan focused on prevention, treatment/clinical practice, harm reduction, enforcement, and emergency management. 

Still have questions? Review info in the Q&A .

SCS help save lives and create safer communities. SCS are part of a harm reduction approach that aims to provide:

  • Overdose prevention (naloxone, oxygen)
  • Harm reduction supplies including needles and other safer drug use equipment
  • Client education
  • Connection to a variety of services including: addictions treatment, health care, mental health, housing and/or social supports

The benefits of supervised consumption sites include:

  • Reduced rates of overdose deaths and hospital visits
  • Reduced public drug use and needles discarded in the community
  • Increased access to other services including access to treatment when people are ready
  • Reduced spread of blood borne infections like HIV and hepatitis C
  • Reduced stigma related to substance use
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Barrie ranks third among large municipalities in Ontario for opioid overdose emergency department (ED) visit rates, behind Brantford and Oshawa.
  • In 2017 there were 81 opioid-related deaths in Simcoe Muskoka, with 36 of those deaths in Barrie.
  • The central north area of Barrie (which includes downtown) had 10 times the rate of opioid overdose ED visits in 2017 than the provincial average, and four times the overall Barrie average. This includes 34 visits among those identifying themselves as homeless
  • More local statistics can be found via the Simcoe Muskoka HealthStats website


In 2017 the Harm Reduction Pillar of the Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy (SMOS), agreed to explore an application to Health Canada for a Safe Consumption Site as part of a comprehensive strategy to address the current opioid crisis.

Agencies leading this work on behalf of SMOS include the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, Canadian Mental Health Association Simcoe County (CMHA) and the Gilbert Centre. A key component of the application process is community consultations, specifically in the Barrie community.

Our organizations will begin these consultations in early 2019 and will provide people who use drugs, health and social service providers, outreach service providers, police, fire, paramedics, City of Barrie Council and municipal staff, businesses and the general public in Barrie with an opportunity to share thoughts and perspectives on a supervised consumption site (SCS) in Barrie.

update April 1 2019

In the coming months

  • January-March: Application partners consulted with community stakeholders.
  • February-March: A public survey of people who live, work and go to school in Barrie was conducted. A second survey for people who use drugs was completed.
  • March 20: A public open house was held in Barrie.
  • April: Results of the consultations will be processed. Public release of a report, date to be determined. Consultation results will inform the application.
  • Spring 2019: Seek endorsement of the application by City of Barrie Council, followed by submission of application.


Our public survey and open house are now complete. Check back for information on future opportunities to have your say. 

For more information on opioids or supervised consumption sites call Health Connection 705-721-7520 or toll-free 1-877-721-7520.
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