The Peel HIV/AIDS Network is gearing up to open and operate an overdose prevention site in Brampton located at 257 Main St. N., north of Brampton’s four corners on April 3.
Last year, the federal government gave provinces temporary approval to open overdose prevention sites, said Phillip Banks, executive director of the Peel HIV/AIDS Network (PHAN). And Ontario’s former minister of health and long-term care, Dr. Eric Hoskins formally requested the federal government allow Ontario to approve and fund overdose prevention sites.
Deaths as a result of drug overdoses is on the increase and there were 46 deaths in the Region of Peel involving opioids in 2016, compared to 21 deaths in 2013. More than 3,000 opioid-related deaths are expected in Canada this year.
Services at the overdose prevention site will include three supervised self-administered drug use stations, life-saving assistance in the event of an overdose, drug testing and distribution of sterile drug use equipment and naloxone as well as there will be needle sweeps, collection and disposal.
PHAN is working along with Peel Health, Public Health Ontario and other key stakeholders in Brampton with the long-term objective being to ultimately set up a permanent overdose prevention site in the city. But given the sensitivity of the issue, it is certain there will be plenty of hurdles to overcome before a permanent place will be part of Brampton’s landscape. – CINEWS