Wednesday, October 07, 2020
Media Coordinator 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520
Kathy Dermott (x 7864/8533)
BARRIE – The Barrie community is invited to offer their opinion on two proposed locations for a supervised consumption site (SCS) in the city by filling out a survey now available online. The survey is open from October 7 to October 30 and is available at www.smdhu.org/SCS. To request a paper copy of the survey be mailed to you call 1-877-721-7520 ext. 7333 and leave a voice mail.
The survey aims to gather views from people who live, work, own a business or go to school in Barrie, on the proposed sites: 110 Dunlop St West, unit #4 and 31 Toronto St (the premise at the back of the property). The two properties were deemed the most viable by the SCS Site Selection Advisory Committee, after a comprehensive search process and a criteria-based comparison of the resulting location options.
“The opioid crisis has not abated during COVID-19. It has continued to be a tragic problem in our region and particularly in Barrie, which has been disproportionally impacted by a recent increase in opioid-related deaths,” said Dr. Lisa Simon, Associate Medical Officer of Health for the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, which will be the co-applicant for the SCS along with the Canadian Mental Health Association Simcoe Branch, as the lead applicant.
Between January and May 2020 there were 44 confirmed and probable opioid-related deaths in Simcoe Muskoka, which is 50 per cent higher than the comparable average for the previous three years. Nineteen (or 43 per cent) of these deaths occurred in the City of Barrie, which only accounts for one-quarter of the region’s population.
Supervised consumption sites (SCS) help save lives and create safer communities. They provide a safe and clean space for people to use their own drugs under the care of nursing staff. They can connect clients to treatment for addictions and mental illness, and other health and social services.
“The Supervised Consumption Site is a fundamental element of our overall strategy to address the escalating opioid crisis that has had such a profound impact on our community,” said Dr. Valerie Grdisa, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Mental Health Association, Simcoe County Branch. “We need to come together and create a safe space with clean injection supplies, care and compassion and reconnect our most vulnerable citizens with society and much needed health services.”
The survey, which is voluntary and anonymous, is one part of public consultations on a proposed SCS in downtown Barrie as a service for people who use drugs. Virtual facilitated community consultations will also be offered for addresses and occupants within 250 metres of the two locations later this fall.
The application for a SCS is part of the Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy’s (SMOS) Action Plan. SMOS is a large partnership of agencies, organizations and individuals working to address the crisis of opioid use and overdose in the region. For more information on the SMOS Action Plan and related work, visit www.preventod.ca
For more information on SCSs, including the local SCS application history and the recent work of the Advisory committee, visit www.smdhu.org/SCS or call Health Connection at 1-877-721-7520 or 705-721-7520 weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.