Photo of drugs
print header

Drugs

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.

Posted February 12, 2019

Chronology of the initiative to January, 2019

  • April, 2018: Gilbert Centre submitted an application, with Canadian Mental Health Association Simcoe Branch as co-applicant, for a temporary overdose prevention site in the City of Barrie. The application was no longer valid following the provincial election, and release of new guidelines for applications in October, 2018.
  • July, 2018: Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy released. Within the report, the harm reduction pillar’s action plan calls for exploration of a supervised consumption site in 2019.
  • November, 2018: Gilbert Centre, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and Canadian Mental Health Association, Simcoe County, decide to be co-applicants for a supervised consumption site.
  • The application will seek both federal and provincial approval for the site.
  • To avoid confusion, the partners are using the term supervised consumption site in communications regarding the application. (Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care’s term is Consumption and Treatment Services; the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act refers to Supervised Consumption Sites.)
  • Provincial approval requires City of Barrie Council endorsement and federal approval.
  • Provincial approval also requires full public consultation.

    In the coming months

  • January-March: Application partners will consult with community stakeholders.
  • February-March: A public survey of people who live, work and go to school in Barrie will be conducted. A second survey will also be available, to obtain input from people who use drugs.
  • March 20: A public open house will be held in Barrie City Hall.
  • 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.
  • The province has set a limit of approvals for sites across the province this year.

Complete our public survey to provide your feedback on a proposed supervised consumption site in Barrie.

The public survey is now live (as of Feb. 19) and will be available until March 25. This survey is to obtain feedback from people in Barrie.

An open house providing information about the supervised consumption site proposal will be held on March 20 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Barrie City Hall in the Rotunda.   


For more information on opioids or supervised consumption sites call Health Connection 705-721-7520 or toll-free 1-877-721-7520.
Did you find what you were looking for today?
What did you like about this page?
How can we improve this page?
Page
Feedback

If you have any questions or concerns that require a response, please contact Health Connection directly.

Thanks for your feedback.
Failed to submit comment. Please try submitting again or contact us at the Health Unit.
Comment already submitted ...