Pubdate: Fri, 14 Jul 2017
Source: North Bay Nugget (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 North Bay Nugget
Page: A1


Efforts underway to establish a new needle exchange site in the

The North Parry Sound District Health Unit indicated in a release
Friday that harm reduction services, including the needle exchange
program, continue to operate in the community and that work is
underway to find ways to further increase access.

The release comes ahead of the closure at the end of the month of a
key needle exchange site located at the Nipissing Detoxification and
Substance Abuse Program on King Street. It's one of three exchange
sites in the city.

The health unit notes that the services are mandated by the Ministry
of Health and Long-Term Care, and aim to reduce the adverse health,
social and economic consequences associated with drug use.

"Needle exchange programs not only benefit individuals who use drugs
by helping to prevent the transmission of infections such as Hepatitis
C and HIV, but also benefit the community by keeping discarded
syringes off the street," Cathy Menzies-Boule, executive director of
clinical services at the health unit, said in a release. "In addition,
these programs offer a safe place for clients to access
non-judgemental services, providing an opportunity to engage them in a
continuum of care."

The Northern Points Exchange Committee, comprised of community
partners including the health unit, the AIDS Committee of North Bay &
Area and The North Bay Regional Health Centre, are actively looking at
ways to increase access to harm reduction services within our
district, states the release. "ACNBA supports the community through
our provision of in agency and outreach services to ensure access to
new syringes, collection of used syringes, safer inhalation kits,
safer snorting kits and safer sex supplies" said Stacey Mayhall,
executive director of the AIDS committee. "In addition, through
community forums and committee meetings, we support all efforts to
collaborate with willing partners. We believe in expanding access to
supplies and harm reduction services wherever possible in the community."

Two working groups have been formed to address this need: A short-term
working group focused on service delivery, as well as a long-term
working group aimed at providing ongoing evaluation of the program.

"The North Bay Regional Health Centre continues to work with community
partners to prepare for the needle exchange site change," said Tanya
Nixon, vice-president, mental health. "It is important to continue
with the work currently being done, and to collaborate to further
build capacity in our communities."

The health unit welcomes any organization or business which shares
similar harm reduction values to become involved in the Northern
Points Exchange or join a working group. In addition, the health unit
is actively seeking new partners who are interested in becoming a new
needle exchange site. For more information, or to become a partner,
contact Marnie Brunette, program manager, at 705-474-1400 ext. 2382 or
by email at  ---
MAP posted-by: Matt