Ontario’s health minister Christine Elliott made a drastic U-turn on Monday and announced that Ontario would not only continue to fund safe injection sites in order to save lives but will also expand the program to incorporate rehabilitation.
The health minister confirmed that the provincial government will maintain funding so that users can continue to get treatment as well as rehabilitation help primarily for opioid-related drugs.
Elliott noted that the Conservatives changed their policy here as, “the evidence clearly demonstrated that these sites were necessary.”
She, however, noted that existing sites will have to re-apply to continue running their operations.
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An unorthodox strategy to fight the opioid crisis
Elliot made the announcement amid an ongoing national opioid crisis.
The announcement also highlights the progressive conservative government’s strategy to combat drug addiction.
The new strategy known as Consumption and Treatment Services will be used as a replacement for the temporary drug-overdose prevention method.
“Services provided under the new Consumption, and Treatment Services model would better address the physical and mental health, as well as social needs of people addicted to opioids and other drugs,” Elliot noted in a press release.
The Health Minister also noted that the new approach would offer a practical overdose prevention methodology.
Additionally, the strategy mainly focuses on providing treatment.
The new safe injection sites in Canada will also implement and run monitoring programs while also dealing with community concerns.
The registration of safe injection sites and why they are important
Ontario’s administration expects approved safe injection sites to start operating as soon as January 2019 but the rest of the sites should be up and running by April next year.
The province allowed temporary overdose prevention sites to run following a federal government exemption as part of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
Safe-injection sites also receive federal government approval to exist in more permanent locations although their application process is quite extensive.
Recently, Ontario health officials have turned to temporary overdose prevention sites due to the growing opioid crisis in the region.
Safe injection sites in Ontario and across Canada allow drug users to consume or inject drugs under supervised conditions along with access to support services and clean equipment.
The temporary sites are supposed to help keep the drug situation in check until authorities come up with a more permanent solution. These safe injection sites in Ontario require federal government approval while the Ontario government. provides the funding.