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Supervised consumption sites

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

The Canadian Mental Health Association Simcoe Branch and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit are applying to operate a supervised consumption site in Barrie. The two agencies, with the support of the SCS Site Selection Advisory Committee, are working on behalf of the harm reduction pillar of the Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy (SMOS).

Applying for a SCS site in Barrie is just one example of the collaborative community work that is underway in the region to address opioid use and overdoses. See more community actions here.

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

With the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic in March 2020 the work of the SCS Site Advisory Committee was temporarily put on hold. In July 2020 the committee started work to create a new application for a supervised consumption site in Barrie. Full details of the committee’s process and work can be found here. The history of previous applications can be found below, in the next expander bar.

In September 2020 the committee selected two proposed locations using a number of criteria; 31 Toronto Street (back building on the lot) and 110 Dunlop Street West (Unit 4, back of building). To better understand how community members in Barrie viewed the benefits and challenges for each of these locations an online survey was created. Anyone who lives, works, owns a business, or goes to school in Barrie were asked for their feedback on the two locations.

A total of 1,200 people did the online survey between October 7 -30, 2020. It is important to note that the results from this survey don’t represent the entire population of Barrie, and only represent the opinions of those who chose to do the survey. Highlights from the survey results, and the complete report can be found below:

Highlights from the survey results: People were asked their opinion about the benefits, concerns and how to address concerns about two proposed SCS locations, 31 Toronto St and 110 Dunlop St W. in Barrie. 

Overall those that responded to the survey thought the top benefits of both sites included reducing risk of injury and death from drug overdose, and public drug use. One in four people who responded to the survey felt there were no benefits of having an SCS in either location. 

When asked about concerns about either location, the safety of community members was the top concern for both sites as well as the impact on neighbourhood cleanliness or quality of life. One in three people didn’t have any concerns with either proposed location. 

When asked about actions that could be taken to address some of the top concerns, most people who responded to the survey said evaluating the SCS services and sharing results with the community, sharing goals of a SCS with the community and ensuring that discarded needles are cleaned up could help address their concerns.

The details of the completed report can be found here.

To review monthly updates on progress to date please see:Site Selection Advisory Committee

November 14, 2019: Barrie Police Service response to Councillor Sergio Morales’ letter to the Barrie Police Services Board dated July 4, 2019

August 12, 2019: Barrie Council decides not to hire an outside consultant and supports SCS applicants continuing the search for an appropriate location and further community engagement, with the support of the advisory committee.

August 9, 2019: SCS applicants establish a site selection advisory committee to conduct a fresh review of site locations in Barrie.

June 24, 2019: SCS applicants submit report on the potential sites that were considered for Barrie Council consideration. Barrie Council defers decision on 90 Mulcaster site proposal, votes to retain a consultant to review prospective sites.

June 4, 2019: Barrie City Council votes to defer site selection until next council meeting and requests further information.

May 27, 2019:

May 15, 2019: Neighbourhood consultation was held to provide opportunities for residents to review site proposal and mitigation strategies for 90 Mulcaster, and share further feedback.

May 7, 2019: Evaluation of the public consultations for a SCS in Barrie is completed. A report summarizing the evaluation of the consultations was released (this version includes later updates). A shorter document containing highlights of the report also available.

April 24, 2019: Site selection investigation concludes with announcement of recommendation for 90 Mulcaster Street.

January–March 2019: Public, stakeholder education and consultation period on proposal for an SCS in Barrie.

No, site selection is currently ongoing as per Barrie City Council’s request at their August 12, 2019 meeting. A SCS Site Selection Advisory Committee was created to advise and support the Barrie SCS applicants to further explore and review SCS site options in Ward 2 of Barrie. This process was interrupted for several months by the declaration of the global COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, but is once again underway.

For details on the current site selection process underway, please see the Site Selection Advisory Committee.

Currently two sites for a SCS in Ward 2 Barrie are under consideration:

  • 110 Dunlop Street West, Unit 4 (at the back of the building)
  • 31 Toronto Street (free standing building at the back of the property)

An extensive consultation process will be implemented to choose the best site for this service. Updates on the progress of this process can be found here.

CMHA SCS Infographic 2019

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
  • Preliminary data for 2019 ranks Barrie third among large municipalities in Ontario for opioid overdose emergency department (ED) visit rates, behind St. Catharines and Oshawa.
  • In 2019 there were 88 opioid-related deaths in Simcoe Muskoka, with 26 of those deaths in Barrie.
  • In the five months of 2020, there were 19 confirmed deaths in the City of Barrie, compared to 26 deaths for all of 2019.
  • The central north area of Barrie (which includes downtown) had 8 times the rate of opioid overdose ED visits in 2019 than the provincial average, and three times the overall Barrie average. This includes 50 visits among those identifying themselves as homeless.
  • More local statistics can be found via the Simcoe Muskoka HealthStats website

 

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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