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Q: Why is there a safe injection site on Prince Street?

A safe injection site, also known as a supervised consumption site or overdose prevention site, is a facility designed to provide a safe and hygienic environment for individuals who use (illicit) drugs intravenously. These sites are staffed by healthcare professionals who provide clean needles, medical supervision, and support services to drug users.

One of the primary goals of safe injection sites is to reduce overdose-related deaths. Trained medical staff are available to respond immediately in case of an overdose, often administering lifesaving measures like naloxone, an antidote for opioid overdoses. By providing sterile equipment, safe injection sites help to minimize the transmission of infections like HIV and Hepatitis C among drug users, which in turn reduces the burden on our severely strained healthcare resources.

Studies have shown that safe injection sites can be cost-effective overall. The expenses related to healthcare, law enforcement, and other consequences of unregulated drug use can be reduced by the presence of these facilities.

Concentrating drug use within a controlled environment, such as the site on Prince Street, can reduce public drug consumption and the associated public nuisances. This makes the Third safer for everyone. Research indicates that these sites do not encourage increased drug use or crime in the surrounding areas. Instead, they foster a supportive environment that encourages users to seek help and treatment, leading to improved health outcomes for individuals and the community.

Safe injection sites serve as entry points to various support services, including drug rehabilitation programs, mental health counselling, and social support. They connect drug users with the necessary resources to overcome addiction. By offering a safe space, medical supervision, and access to support services, they aim to break the cycle of addiction and create a healthier and safer community for all of us.

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