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.
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.
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.
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.