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19 Mar 2018

Why it’s not ‘enabling’ to make drug use safer

Maia Szalavitz, The Washington Post, March 13, 2018 

Retrieved from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2018/03/13/why-its-not-enabling-to-make-drug-use-safer/?utm_term=.66b4af9ca5dc

In the face of an unabating overdose crisis that has already killed more than a half-million people, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Seattle have announced plans to do what was once unthinkable: open centers where people can inject illegal drugs under medical supervision. Many other cities are also debating so-called safe injection facilities (SIFs) — but unfortunately, a common misconception about addiction stands in the way.

07 Mar 2018

News Release: Ontario Moving Quickly to Expand Life-Saving Overdose Prevention Programs

Latest Data Shows Opioid-Related Deaths Continue to Increase

March 7, 2018 9:30 A.M.

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Retrieved from: https://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2018/03/ontario-moving-quickly-to-expand-life-saving-overdose-prevention-programs.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=p

Ontario is expanding access to addiction and harm reduction services across the province, as the latest data shows that opioid-related deaths continue to rise.

There were 1,053 opioid-related deaths in Ontario from January to October 2017, compared with 694 during the same time period in 2016 -- this represents a 52 per cent increase. From January to December 2017, there were 7,658 emergency department visits related to opioid overdoses, compared with 4,453 during the same time period in 2016 -- this represents a 72 per cent increase.

22 Feb 2018

Active Ingredient in Shrooms Could ‘Reset’ Brains of Depressed People

Next year, researchers plan to test psilocybin against a leading antidepressant.

Jesse Hicks, Tonic, VICE.com

Oct 13 2017, 2:55pm

Psilocybin, the psychoactive compound found naturally in "magic mushrooms," has shown promising results in treating anxiety and depression. A recently published study reinforces that potential, demonstrating that depressed patients treated with psilocybin showed reduced symptoms even weeks after they'd used it. Even more intriguing, before and after brain scans showed changes in brain activity associated with significant and lasting decrease in depressive symptoms.

04 Dec 2017

Ontario to curb prosecution of HIV non-disclosure cases

Crown attorneys will not prosecute cases of HIV-positive people who do not disclose they have HIV if they have had a “suppressed” viral load, or amount of HIV, in their blood for six months.

By JACQUES GALLANT, Legal Affairs Reporter, The Toronto Star, 
Fri., Dec. 1, 2017

15 Nov 2017

Minister of Health announces new projects to address the opioid crisis

New changes and projects to support the Government of Canada commitment to lower the number of opioid-related overdoses and deaths in Canada

CALGARY, Nov. 15, 2017 /CNW/ - There were more than 2,800 apparent opioid-related deaths in Canada in 2016. The available preliminary data for 2017 also suggest that the number of opioid-related deaths will almost certainly exceed 3,000 lives lost this year. This is nothing short of tragic.

To address this national public health crisis, the Government of Canada is committed to taking comprehensive and evidence-based approach to save lives and protect the well-being of all Canadians.

10 Oct 2017

PrEP in Ontario – Update for Community

AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT), September 28, 2017

Contact: Amanda Leo aleo@whai.ca 416-340-8484 ext. 221 Alex Urquhart aurquhart@actoronto.org 416-340-8484 ext. 234

On September 28, 2017, PrEP became more accessible to people living in Ontario than ever before. PrEP is a highly effective way to prevent HIV that involves taking a pill every day and going for regular checkups with a doctor. ACT has long advocated for increased access to PrEP, and welcomed this news. But drug coverage in Ontario is confusing, so here’s a brief rundown of how this news affects you. 

04 Oct 2017

Ontario forms opioid emergency task force to address ongoing crisis

Group will include harm-reduction workers, those who have experienced addiction

By Andrea Janus, CBC News Posted: Oct 04, 2017

The province will create an emergency task force to help address the ongoing opioid crisis, the minister of health announced Wednesday.

The opioid task force, which will operate out of the health ministry's emergency operations centre, will include front-line harm reduction workers, emergency responders, mental health and addiction professionals, public health experts, other provincial ministries and municipal representatives, health-care groups and people who live with addiction.

27 Sep 2017

Ottawa’s first legal safe injection site opens

179 Clarence will operate until Sandy Hill site opens

Sep 26, 2017 by Nevil Hunt  Ottawa East News

Ottawa’s first supervised — and legal — safe injection site is now open.

Ottawa Public Health is hosting the clinic at 179 Clarence St., between Dalhousie and King Edward, starting Sept. 26. It’s open from 3 to 8 p.m. each day, and those hours will be extended as more staff is trained to observe intravenous drug users, and help them in the case of overdose.

The small room set up for users to inject drugs comes with a crash cart — medical equipment to help if someone overdoses or has a bad reaction to a drug. A defibrillator and oxygen tanks stand at the ready. Two registered nurses will be present, sitting a few steps from the people who inject drugs.

25 Sep 2017

Interim supervised injection site to open Tuesday

CBC News, September 22, 2017

Volunteers running the SIS tent are not committing to shutting down their site

The precursor to Ottawa's first permanent supervised safe injection site will open its doors to clients on Tuesday, Sept. 26. But it's not clear the nearby tent offering support to drug users will shut down.

The interim supervised drug injection site will be located at the Ottawa Public Health office on Clarence Street. For years, many in the medical community have pressed for a drug consumption site, citing growing rates of drug overdoses in the city. 

The interim site on Clarence Street will be open 7 days a week, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

05 Sep 2017

Vancouver consumption site to allow nasal and oral drug use to prevent overdoses

Health Canada has granted an exemption to the Powell Street Getaway supervised consumption site to allow drugs to be taken in several ways.

By: Matt Kieltyka


A Vancouver supervised consumption site is now able to monitor people who ingest or snort drugs to prevent overdose deaths.

Like many facilities of its kind, the Powell Street Getaway – which opened July 28 – could only provide supervision to people who inject drugs.

But Vancouver Coastal Health announced Friday that Health Canada has granted the site an exemption to allow for nasal and oral consumption of drugs as well.

“We know people dying of overdoses are not just injecting, and we are pleased that Health Canada has acknowledged the value of keeping people who ingest drugs in other ways safe too,” said B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy in a statement.

“Oral and intranasal drug consumption carry a risk of overdose, but they are less risky than injection,” said Dr. Patricia Daly, chief medical health officer at VCH. ”It makes no sense to turn away people who choose to consume drugs in a safer manner, but who still require supervision.”

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