Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit Barrie Office
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Supervised Consumption mediakit

Public consultations, as part of an application for a supervised consumption site in the City of Barrie, are currently under way.  The process is being led by three organizations — the Gilbert Centre, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and the Canadian Mental Health Association Simcoe Branch.

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 treatment for addictions and mental illness, and other health and social services.

The consultation and engagement process is expected to run from January to April 2019, with an application to later be submitted if endorsement is received by the City of Barrie Council. Regular updates on the consultations will be posted on our Supervised Consumption Sites page under the expander bar "Updates on Consultation."

This document provides details and chronology of the proposal development

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Provincially, supervised consumption sites are referred to as Consumption and Treatment Services. Approval for a site, as per the application guide, is dependent on several factors.

  • There must be a proven need
  • It must to be one of the limited number of sites for which provincial funding is available this year
  • It must have municipal endorsement
  • There must be a full public consultation
  • There must be federal approval


Federally, the term Supervised Consumption Site is used. Since federal approval is required for both applications, this term is used for the Barrie application. 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:

“(a) the impact of the site on crime rates;

“(b) the local conditions indicating a need for the site;

“(c) the administrative structure in place to support the site;

“(d) the resources available to support the maintenance of the site; and

“(e) expressions of community support or opposition.”

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 quick one pager that encourages us all to think about the language used in articles that will help to decrease stigma and barriers to treatment and recovery.

Simcoe Muskoka data on opioids: Our HealthSTATS website contains current trends on opioids, including data on emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths from opioid overdose.

Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy: An action plan for our communities: Released in July, 2018, this report outlines the collaborative five pillar response to the opioid crisis in Simcoe and Muskoka, whose goal is “dramatically reducing the harms of opioids in our communities.” The County of Simcoe hosts a site where partners in the strategy (SMOS) provide information pertinent to their areas of responsibility.

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

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