Pubdate: Sat, 25 Jun 2016
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2016 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Kevin Connor
Page: 20


The city's chief medical officer of health is recommending pushing
ahead with opening three safe drug injection sites.

After months of public consultation, Dr. David McKeown issued a report
Friday urging the Board of Health and city council to endorse the idea.

"Toronto would benefit from multiple supervised injection services
that are integrated into existing health services already serving
people who inject drugs," the report said.

McKeown argues that allowing safe injection sites would help prevent
overdose deaths and points out that there has been a 77% increase in
deaths due to drug overdoses between 2004 and 2014.

According to public health, 258 deaths were due to overdoses in

Councillor Joe Cressy, who heads the city's drug strategy task force,
says the drug death numbers are staggering.

"We need a public health response that will save lives, improve the
health of people who use drugs, and make our communities safe.
Supervised injection services will do that," Cressy said. "Today's
report makes it clear. Toronto is ready to embrace an evidence-based
approach to drug policy. An evidence-based approach to reduce harm and
save lives."

He says "drug use is already in our backyards" and supervision would
improve safety and public health.

The issue will go to city council in July.
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