Survey seeks input on downtown Peterborough consumption, treatment site

Several community organizations including Peterborough Police Service and the Peterborough Aids Resource Network (PARN) are coming together to try and bring a safe consumption site to the city. And now there's a survey for residents to give their thoughts on the site.

A new online survey is seeking input on the impact a safe consumption and drug treatment site would have on the City of Peterborough.

Hosted by the Peterborough Drug Strategy Team, the voluntary, confidential survey is gathering feedback on a consumption and treatment services (CTS) site in the city’s downtown. The team — consisting of community-based organizations in the city and Peterborough County — says a CTS site will provide onsite services as well as defined pathways to addiction treatment services, primary care, mental health, house and other social supports.
The site would allow people who use injection drugs to do so under the supervision of health professionals in order to prevent opioid deaths. The site also connects users with health care professionals who can direct them to treatment options.
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Dylan DeMarsh, community resource coordinator at the Peterborough Aids Resource Network (PARN), said a consumption and treatment services site benefits the community as a whole, as it reduces the risks of sexually transmitted blood borne infections (STBBIs), such as HIV, that can be contracted from users sharing syringes.  DeMarsh said a CTS site also reduces drug litter, like discarded syringes, and public drug use.
The survey is open until Nov. 30 is available  online.
So far in 2019 in Peterborough, there have been 26 suspected opioid-related deaths, according to the Peterborough Police Service.
In the fall of 2018, the Ontario government stated it was abruptly halting funding for a number of safe injection sites, including one proposed for Peterborough. Instead the province unveiled a revamped funding model for 16 supervised consumption facilities but Peterborough was not on the initial 15.
In June of this year, Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith helped convene a committee to lobby the province for a CTS. The committee also launched a petition
Members on the committee include PARN, Peterborough Public Health, Canadian Mental Health Association, Peterborough Regional Health Centre, Peterborough Mayor Diane Therrien, Selwyn Township Deputy Mayor Sherry Senis (representing the County) and Fourcast (Four Counties Addiction Services Team) and the 360 nurse practitioner-led clinic.
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“We are committed to being part of the continuing efforts to bring a CTS site to Peterborough along with MPP Dave Smith and other partners,” stated Peter Williams, chair of the Peterborough Drug Strategy.
“This model, proven to save and change lives, is long overdue in Peterborough.”