Advertisement

Hamilton seeks to operate its own safe injection site

Hamilton's medical officer of health says the opioid crisis is serious enough to warrant more than one safe injection site.
Hamilton's medical officer of health says the opioid crisis is serious enough to warrant more than one safe injection site. Nick Westoll

The city is looking to get more proactive in battling the ongoing opioid crisis by opening a safe consumption site.

The Board of Health has directed Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton’s Medical Officer of Health, to apply to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for approval to operate a permanent safe injection site.

READ MORE: Hamilton council backs local bid for permanent consumption and treatment site

The board has also voted to seek full provincial funding of the consumption and treatment services site (CTS), estimated at more than $1.3 million.

Stoney Creek Coun. Brad Clark stresses that opioid overdoses are a crisis across the city, “hitting all geography, all socio-economic backgrounds,” and not just the downtown core.

READ MORE: For more than five years he was addicted to opioids. This is one man’s story of recovery

Story continues below advertisement

According to statistics presented by Hamilton Public Health, 121 people in the city called 911 for suspected opioid overdoses in January and February of this year, an average of more than three per day.

READ MORE: A look at how opioid overdoses have risen in Canada

The city’s consumption and treatment services site would be separate from those operated by community agencies, like Hamilton Urban Core Community Health Centre, which are also seeking approval for permanent sites.

Dr. Richardson says the city’s opioid crisis is serious enough to warrant multiple locations.