AMHO applauds Toronto city council approval of supervised injection sites

On July 14, 2016, Toronto City Council voted 36 to 3 to adopt a Board of Health motion to implement three supervised injection sites located at Toronto Public Health (The Works), Queen West-Central Toronto Community Health Centre and South Riverdale Community Health Centre.

“We are pleased to see strong support for supervised injection sites from Toronto’s city councillors. The evidence clearly demonstrates that supervised injection sites save lives, help reduce the harms associated with drug use, and improve community safety,” said Gail Czukar, CEO of Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO).

“AMHO is encouraged to see that this service will be provided in an integrated setting, which will facilitate access to primary care and other services and supports.

“We know that timely access to help remains a significant challenge, so it’s critical that in addition to supervised injection sites, we provide people with access to the wide range of services and supports they need to turn their lives around, including mental health and addictions counselling, housing, income supports and more.

“We encourage the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to heed the call of the motion to provide support and funding for a broad range of treatment options, including supervised injection sites.

“As we move towards implementation, we should look closely at the experience of other sites to see how best practices can be adapted to our local context. We also want to ensure the new sites include an evaluation plan, so that new learnings can inform further developments and enhancements to addiction services.”

Federal law requires supervised injection sites to apply for exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which requires extensive documentation, including letters from the city and the police chief.

About Addictions and Mental Health Ontario

Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO) represents over 200 community based, not-for profit addictions and mental health service providers in Ontario. As the collective voice of our members, we provide leadership and engage partners to build a comprehensive and accessible system of addictions and mental health care, and improve the well-being of individuals, families and communities in Ontario.

For more information or to request an interview, contact Jessica Behnke, Communications & Public Affairs, jessica [dot] behnke [at] addictionsandmentalhealthontario [dot] ca 416.490.8900 ext. 8.