With the feds now focusing more on harm-reduction models for healthcare and the province pouring $222 million into a multi-pronged approach to battle all aspects of this crisis, it’s all encouraging signs that the death toll may start to fall.
Now, Oshawa city council has taken a proactive step in making sure that if a supervised injection site were ever to become a possibility in this city, they want to be prepared to approach it with the correct knowledge and regulations.
These sites are a hot button issue, and draw ire and debate in all of the cities they appear in. In Toronto, where a trio of these sites are set to open, the controversy has only just begun.
But let’s be clear, allowing someone to use drugs in the presence of healthcare professionals is much better than having them shoot-up on the side of the road.
Paul McGary, the director of the Pinewood Centre said it best when he noted that “if people are going to use they’re going to use. What you’re trying to do is prevent people from dying in the streets.”
The sites also offer the opportunity to engage these individuals in a discussion about treatment and their potential options, a discussion that may not always be fruitful, but one they’re not going to have alone in an alley with a needle.
Council was clear to point out that this is just a proactive step and that currently, there are no plans for a safe injection site in the City of Oshawa.
However, if and when one does come, the Pinewood Centre would be the perfect location for it. It’s something the city and people in the surrounding area should begin to consider right now. It’s part of a hospital, has a trained and qualified staff who already work with those with substance use disorders, and it just makes sense.
With that said, this is a good step toward preparing for the future, and Oshawa city council should be applauded for taking that first step.