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Consumption and treatment services

Consumption and Treatment Services (CTS)* help save lives and create safer communities. They provide a clean, safe, and non-judgemental space for people to use their own drugs under the care of health care and non-health care staff. As relationships are developed with clients, they are offered referrals to primary care, mental health and addictions treatment, and other health and social services.  A CTS would also help to reduce public drug use and improperly discarded needles. For all of these reasons, a CTS is desperately needed in the city of Barrie.

The National Overdose Response Services (NORS) is an overdose prevention hotline for Canadians, providing compassionate, confidential, and nonjudgmental support for people, whenever and wherever they use drugs.  If using drugs alone, call or text (Canada only) 1-888-688-6677 (NORS).

Learn how you can help friends and family who use substances stay safe when using drugs by watching this video created by the Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs (CAPUD):  How to Spot Someone so They Never Use Alone.

Many communities throughout the country operate supervised consumption sites (known in Ontario as Consumption and Treatment Services). Learn more about these sites across Canada by visiting the Health Canada Infobase-supervised consumption sites.

Recent Update:  On Wednesday October 4, 2023, the Ontario Associate Minister for Mental Health and Addictions announced that the province has paused approving new consumption and treatment sites while a review of all current sites is underway.

Learn more about the steps to providing this health service below.

CTS help save lives and create safer communities. CTS 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, mental health care, primary care, housing and/or social supports.
 

The benefits of CTS 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

More information is available on the Consumption and Treatment Services Site - Frequently Asked Questions.

CTS Application Status 

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 applicant. The following information will provide you with the status of the two applications to date.

Community Mental Health Association, Simcoe Branch, (CMHA) received communication from Health Canada on September 9, 2022, confirming that the exemption to section 56.1 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) has been 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. This exemption to section 56.1 of the CDSA was time limited resulting in the need for further application to Health Canada to extend this exemption.  A one-year extension of the exemption was received in September of 2023.

Applications for Consumption and Treatment Services sites pending approval are on hold as of October 4, 2023.

  • It has been two years (and counting) since the application for approval and funding was submitted for the CTS site. CMHA SCB is still awaiting approval of the operational application and operating budget by the Ministry of Health. Once approval of the application is received, they will be required to complete a capital application to the Ministry of Health to fund the necessary site renovations.
  • Although the Health Canada exemption has been granted there are still outstanding provincial, application approvals followed by significant renovations to accomplish before a CTS is established and operational in Barrie.

CTS Application History 

The process to bring a consumption treatment service to the City of Barrie began in January 2018 and has involved many interested parties including, people who use substances, community agencies, municipal council, businesses, and neighbours of the proposed site(s). The following timeline outlines the steps that have been taken to have this health service approved in Barrie.

60 people lost their lives in Barrie due to opioid toxicity

September:  An exemption was received from Health Canada for Section 56.1 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

December:  A letter to the Minister of Health

74 people lost their lives in Barrie to an opioid poisoning

October: CTS Applications Submitted:

  • The provincial funding application to the Ministry of Health (Consumption and Treatment Services: Application Guide) was submitted on October 7, 2021.
  • The application for an exemption to Section 56.1 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) from Health Canada was submitted on October 7, 2021.
 

July: Focused neighbour and business feedback meetings:

SCS Business Meeting Minutes 
SCS Resident Meeting Minutes 

 

May: A site was chosen in Barrie

The site selected for a Barrie CTS is 11 Innisfil St., (80 Bradford St. Unit 940). This location received Barrie City Council endorsement on May 31, 2021.

 

Community Consultation Overview (October 2020 - April 2021)

  • Q&A from Neighbourhood sessions
  • Neighbourhood Consultation for a Proposed Supervised Consumption Site in Barrie - Optimus SBR 
  • Community Survey on Proposed Locations for a Supervised Consumption Site in Barrie:  Additional Sites (May 2021; Additional analysis included September 2021)
  • Community Summary on Proposed Locations for an SCS in Ward 2 Barrie:  Summary Report (January 2021)
  • Barrie City Council Supervised Consumption Site (SCS) Engagement Sessions:  Summary of Findings (December 2020- January 2021) 
  •  

     

    59 people lost their lives in Barrie due to opioid toxicity

    October:
    • A press release identifying the proposed potential locations of a CTS site was posted to local media.
    • An online survey to garner public opinion on the two site locations was launched October 7th, survey was scheduled to close October 20th.
    • Barrie City Council was provided with an information package:

    Overview of Site Selection Process

    Maps depicting suspected opioid calls to paramedic services for the time frames of January to December 2019; October 2019 – February 2020 (pre declaration of COVID-19 pandemic; and March – July 2020 (first five months of COVID-19 pandemic)

    Data related to opioid related Emergency Department visits by municipality in Simcoe Muskoka, by large municipality in Ontario and opioid deaths by municipality in Simcoe Muskoka (2017-2020)

     26 people lost their lives in Barrie due to opioid toxicity

    November:  Canadian Mental Health Association Simcoe County Branch (CMHA-SCB) was identified as the lead for the applications to Health Canada for a Controlled Drugs and Substances Exemption to Section 56.1 and to the Ontario Ministry of Health for a CTS site.

    September: CTS Site Selection Committee convenes and meets regularly from September 2019 to May 2021, with a break between March 2020 and June 2020 because of the COVID 19 pandemic. Full details of the CTS Site Selection Committee can be found at smdhu/CTS/SCS Site Selection Committee

     

    August:

    • A decision is made by Barrie City Council that the applicants work with the community including Safe Barrie to determine the best location for an CTS in Barrie.
    • CTS applicants establish a site selection advisory committee to conduct a fresh review of site locations in Barrie.  
     

    May:

    • Evaluation of the public consultations for a CTS in Barrie was completed.
    • Neighbourhood consultation open house was held to provide opportunities for residents to review the site proposal and mitigation strategies for the proposed CTS location (90 Mulcaster Street) and share feedback.
  • City of Barrie staff prepare a report on the proposal for council's consideration.
  • The CTS applicants provide a presentation to the City of Barrie Mayor and Council.
  • Barrie City Council General Committee receives the recommendation for 90 Mulcaster as a supervised consumption services site.
  •  

    April:  Site selection investigation concludes with the announcement of the recommendation that a CTS site be located at 90 Mulcaster Street.

    January - March:  Public, stakeholder education and consultation period for an CTS in Barrie, including surveys, meetings/interviews, and an open house.

    26 people lost their lives in Barrie due to opioid toxicity

    October: New guidelines were released by the provincial government outlining a new process in applying for a funded CTS site in Ontario. 

    April: Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) application submitted on April 9, 2018 for a modular unit located at 21 Bradford Street Barrie.

    January: Conversations with community agencies in Barrie were started to collaborate on the Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) application.

    • Ongoing engagement with residents, businesses and people who use drugs
    • Community CTS awareness and education planning 
    • Ongoing communication by CMHA SCB with Health Canada and the Ministry of Health about the submitted CTS applications.

    A timeline is difficult to establish as we are seeking approvals and decisions from our provincial government. The following are some of the steps we currently anticipate:

    • Pending provincial approval
    • Planning for the creation of a CTS Advisory Committee focused on operations and mitigations. 
    • Mobilization of resources and staffing
    • Physical site modifications
    • Consumption and Treatment Services in operation

    To express your support for the provincial approval of the Barrie CTS site, you can contact:

    MPP Doug Downey (Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte)
    [email protected]
    705 726-5538

    Ontario Minister of Health Sylvia Jones
    [email protected]
    519-941-7751

    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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