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Consumption and Treatment Services Media Kit

Consumption and Treatment Services (CTS) 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 health professionals. They can connect clients to treatment for addictions and mental illness, and other health and social services.

A CTS is desperately needed in the city of Barrie to prevent overdose deaths and to help connect people who use drugs to other health and social services that they may want but have difficulty accessing, including mental health and addictions treatment, primary care, and housing. A CTS would also help to reduce public drug use and improperly discarded needles.  Learn more about the steps to providing this health services below.

Two separate applications were submitted, one to Health Canada (federal) and one to the Ministry of Health (MOH, provincial) on October 7, 2021, by CMHA Simcoe County Branch (CMHA SCB) as the lead applicant.

Health Canada Application- Approval Granted

CMHA SCB received communication from Health Canada on September 9, 2022, confirming that the exemption to section 56.1 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act was granted. This exemption is required to permit the use of illegal substances at a CTS. Receiving this exemption is the first step towards creating a CTS in Barrie.

Ministry of Health Application- Awaiting Approval

As of May 2023, it has been 19 months since the application was submitted and CMHA SCB is still awaiting approval of the operational application and operating budget by the Ministry of Health.

CMHA SCB is also required to complete a capital application to the Ministry of Health to fund the necessary site renovations, and this application is ready to submit if the operational application is approved. There will be an additional waiting period for approval of this application.

As such, although the Health Canada exemption has been granted there are still outstanding provincial  application approvals and significant renovations to accomplish before a CTS is established in Barrie.

For more information including an overview of the steps that have been taken to have a CTS approved in Barrie please see our CTS page.

Provincially, consumption and treatment service approval for a site is dependent on several factors.

  • There must be a proven need
  • It must have municipal endorsement
  • There must be a full public consultation
  • There must be federal approval

Federal approval is provided under an exemption from Sect. 56.1 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The section outlines the conditions for an application:

  • The impact of the site on crime rates;
  • the local conditions indicating a need for the site;
  • the administrative structure in place to support the site;
  • the resources available to support the maintenance of the site; and expressions of community support or opposition.

New data for 2022:

  • Deaths due to opioid poisoning in the City of Barrie remain about double what was observed prior to the pandemic, with 60 deaths in Barrie in 2022.
  • The rate of opioid deaths in Barrie is also about double the provincial average.
  • Emergency department visits in 2020 were similar to pre-pandemic levels; however, emergency departments visits increased dramatically in 2021. The first nine months of 2022 show a drop in visits but higher than what was observed from 2018-2020.
  • Emergency department visits among those categorized as unhoused increased in 2021 and preliminary data from 2022 is showing about half of all opioid poisoning emergency department visits in Barrie are among the population who is unhoused.
  • There were 1,499 emergency department visits related to opioid poisoning in Barrie between 2018-2022.
  • Fentanyl was present in 82 percent of toxicology results conducted by the coroner’s office for opioid related deaths in Barrie in 2022 (only includes data up to September 2022). It is important to note that multiple substances can be present in the same death.
  • Nonmedical benzodiazepine’s were detected in 36 percent of opioid related deaths in Barrie in 2022.

The most recent opioid related deaths and emergency department visits within Barrie between 2018-2022.

 Barrie Opioid Deaths ER Visits

**Deaths data are preliminary and subject to change. Includes confirmed and probable cases. Geography for deaths data are based primarily on location of incident. 

^^ED visits for 2022 are considered preliminary and only include the first 9 months (Jan-Sep) 


Our HealthSTATS website contains current trends on opioids, including data on the following:


Public Health Ontario has released an Interactive Opioid Tool that allows users to explore both local and provincial trends for opioid-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths.


Aug. 16, 2022: “The Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy releases final action plan report for 2018-2021

Oct. 12, 2021: “Federal and provincial applications submitted for the Barrie consumption and treatment services site

Aug. 18, 2021: “Opioids cut with benzos linked to increased suspected overdoses in Simcoe County

June 4, 2021: “Increase in opioid overdoses in Barrie

June 1, 2021: “11 Innisfil St. endorsed by Barrie City Council as location for Supervised Consumption Site

May 6, 2021: “Proposed location identified for Barrie supervised consumption site

April 12, 2021: “Registration for supervised consumption site neighbourhood

March 10, 2021: “Community feedback wanted on additional supervised consumption site locations

Dec. 10, 2020: "Opioid strategy work continues as crisis worsens"

Oct. 07, 2020: "Supervised consumption site survey seeks community feedback"

Mar 03, 2020: "Increase in overdoses in Orillia and Barrie"

Jun. 28, 2019: "Caution issued about increased carfentanil deaths across Ontario"

May 13, 2019: "Regional agencies update first year of partnering efforts to implement Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy (SMOS)"

May 09, 2019: "Report on supervised consumption site consultations released"

May 02, 2019: "Open house for consumption site"

Apr. 24, 2019: “Location identified for proposed Barrie supervised consumption site"

Feb. 19, 2019:"Supervised consumption site survey looks for community feedback"

Jan 21, 2019: “Consultations to get public input for managing overdose risks

Nov. 06, 2018: “Treating people who use drugs with dignity

July 04, 2018: “An action plan for handling the opioid crisis in Simcoe Muskoka

Journalists play an important role in the opioid crisis by increasing understanding, separating fact from myth, and providing a forum for open dialogue. However, some language commonly used in coverage of opioids and addiction has contributed to negative connotations that now create stigma and generate fear. Full and fair coverage by news media will help the community embrace evidence-based strategies to reduce opioid misuse and harm.

A simple guide, Opioids and Addiction; A primer for journalists, published by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, offers some valuable information on

  • the physiological effects of addiction and withdrawal,
  • various forms of treatment
  • the concept of harm reduction

Additionally, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction has a couple of quick one pagers that encourages us all to think about the language used in articles that will help to decrease stigma and barriers to treatment and recovery.

For more information please contact our Media Coordinators at [email protected] or 705-721-7520 ext 8533

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