These approvals come one week after the department approved four other sites: three in British Columbia and one in Montreal for a mobile site.
“When properly established and maintained, supervised consumption sites save lives without increasing drug use or crime in the surrounding area.”
For Jason Altenberg, director of services at the South Riverdale Community Health Centre, which will open one of the three sites, this represents a huge milestone for the city that’s seen rising overdose rates over the last decade.“It’s an acknowledgement that we need to approach this crisis from a health and human rights standpoint and we need to create more spaces that are decriminalized,” said Altenberg. “It’s a tragedy that so many people have been lost already. This is one piece of the puzzle that has to be solved through bigger policy decisions, but it is an important part of the solution.”He said he hopes the proliferation of the sites across the country will prompt serious discussions about the decriminalization, and ultimately regulation, of illicit drugs in the future.Toronto City Councillor Joe Cressy, who has been at the forefront of the city’s effort to get the sites approved, previously told CBC drug users who use the service will be supervised by nurses, and access to other treatments will be available if they choose.“That’s part of an integrated healthcare approach to drug use that is desperately needed in this country and city,” he said.There are now 12 federally approved safe consumption sites in Canada, and at least a dozen other applications for sites from other cities are currently in the queue.
“That’s part of an integrated healthcare approach to drug use that is desperately needed in this country and city.”