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Report Calls for Safe Injection Sites in Toronto, Ottawa

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #730)
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

A long-awaited report from Canadian researchers is recommending that Toronto could use three supervised drug injection sites and Ottawa could use two. The report said the sites would be a good health care investment, would reduce drug use, and would reduce the rate of new HIV and hepatitis C infections.

Vancouver's InSite (BCCHA)
The study, the Toronto and Ottawa Supervised Consumption Assessment (TOSCA), did not make specific location recommendations for the sites, saying that should be left up to the cities themselves, should they decided to follow the recommendations.

"Supervised injection facilities in Toronto have the potential to offer meaningful improvements for the health of people who use drugs," said the study's co-principal investigator, Dr. Ahmed Bayoumi from the Center for Research on Inner City Health at St. Michael's Hospital. "The facilities could also make neighborhoods where drug use is common more livable."

But within hours after the study was released, some Toronto elected officials were expressing hesitation.

Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday told the Toronto Star local official need to see all the "facts and figures" behind the study before they decide to approve a safe-injection site. "I have some doubts as to whether or not there is real benefit and whether or not you don't just attract more problems so I would like to really get the thorough results of other places that have done this and I'd like to hear from other experts on the matter," he said.

"There has not been enough research done on the topic in Toronto -- whether that is the way to go with Toronto," echoed Councillor John Filion, chair of the city's board of health, which will consider TOSCA's recommendations.

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair told reporters late Wednesday that he opposes supervised injection sites, a stance that TOSCA noted in its report. "My concern is there need to be sufficient assurances within the community that the quality of life will not be put in jeopardy," Blair said.

But not everyone at City Hall was so hesitant. There is already ample evidence of the benefits of supervised injection sites, Councillor Gord Perks, chair of the Toronto Drug Strategy Implementation Task Force, told the Star.

"We have today in front of us research that shows there are lives to be saved, money to be saved and neighborhoods to be improved," said Perks. "When you have differing views you go to the evidence, and the evidence is clear -- supervised injection sites save money, save lives and improve the quality of our neighborhoods."

The province of Ontario said it was open to evidence, but had no immediate plans to move forward.

"We are always prepared to listen to good advice, and we make our decisions based on evidence," Health Minister Deb Mathews said in a written statement Wednesday. "Experts continue to be divided on the value of the sites. We have no plans to pursue supervised sites at this time."

Canada's only operating supervised injection site is InSite in Vancouver. It is operating under an exemption from Canada's drug laws, much to the chagrin of the Conservative national government. Any future supervised injections sites would have to win similar exemptions. But at this point, worrying about that seems premature.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


CJ (not verified)

bravo. i hope you guys get it. lord knows INSITE is a wonderful, incredible place. Trust me my fellow dopers this is important to us cause like these lame alcohol lovers, silly omg party girls and general losers have their clubs and bars to hop along to and be violent drunk rapist idiots, guess what we have to look forward to one day when the world wakes up from this mess?? NO IM NOT BEING SARCASTIC AT ALL and I GENUINELY MEAN THIS and IN A GOOD WAY. This is the modernization of the den. the opium den. Check it out!! Well it is awesome!!!!!!!!! You know, think about it like this right? on TV and books and everything how many scenes are in a bar, in a night club, outside a bar, outside a nightclub, whatever. Well OBVIOUSLY until the USA decided to embark upon its usual arrogant greedy global domination drug policy we had for its time the opium den. Popularly referenced in the one Sherlock Holmes story - picture if you will a seedy, back alley establishment, beds stacked up all around were people have SUPER NODS going on. I think Watson walked in, people mistook him for a newbie and a few nodders peered at him. Further investigating reveals that the writer, Conan Doyle was not a fan of opium dens and the good stuff, he was a scenester of his day and his lot loved coke and amphetamines OK, LOSERS, I KNOW but anyway the picture painted is often one of a place with you know, junkies whose ultimate loyalty is to themselves, dangerous characters lying cheating stealers who, while only their own best friend, DO possess SOME SORT OF ATLEAST SURFACE loyalty to their fellow junkie (assuming they've not been run by the junkster in question.) At any rate, the den would have obviously received a make over in time had it not been made virtually extinct. But nevertheless, this is it, version 1 - insite. Now im saying this cause we all know the facade of prohibition has been crumbling for years and like the Berlin wall, like the Soviet Union, it will fall apart and the den shall return. I was thinking about what a true den, truly designed for the opiate lover would look like. Because you know, obviously INSITE and these hopefully soon to grow new locations have to maintain a look of a sorta medical place... they arent operating as a opiate lovers bar equivalent but in a way a reluctant institution designed to help people (and, unfortunately, they claim to seek to get people off gods gift to earth via .... aHHHHH treatment!) at anyrate, i would imagine when the proverbial handcuffs come off, i could envision spa meets opium den... eh?? Food would be complex carbs, as a good opiate lover knows, complex carbs absolutely help facilitate the better feeling (did you never wonder why a thick deep dish pizza made your buzz even better when, say, that salad didnt?) complex carbs.... countless rooms with surround mirrors, clean works akin to a social service bldg's codom dispensaries, works depositories all over the place. Countless mirrors and sinks. Tons of swedish mattresses, love seats etc. Lighting that truly allows one to have the best view of their veins as possible.I think it would be a huge thing for the medical working world as well, akin to how... ahh.. dread, COPS!! cops get GIGS ALL THE TIME working as bouncers, security etc. Well, now the struggling bottom level medical professional, nurses, nurse assistant would have places to work. It would be filled with nurses or the like... that would be good for them. probably cut a deal with a nurse union or something.... Oh the possibilities...!!


realize i will never ever and encourage any true reformist to not use those very dreadful prohibitionist terms like "addict" "addiction" "getting high" "high" etc. etc. those words are blasphemy and will, like the opium den is now, go the way of alcohol prohibition when this nightmare ends. Addiction? what a beautiful concept for the prohibitionist!! Think about it, what is it, really, at its root? 24 Hours in a day. Right? Why dont we all concede our own mortality for a moment and admit that NOBODY, NOBODY is GOD nobody truly has the right to judge another human being and that as basic human beings regardless of money color or creed we are all inherently equal. Right? Everybody is equal, we are all human beings, NOBODY has the RIGHT to judge another person. Right? Ok now that that's out of the way. 24 hours in a day. for the sake of simplicity, lets take 10 hours off of that for sleep. OK. 14 Hours. Now, an "addict" consumes drugs for the duration of that day. An addict may actually spend 8 of those 14 hours panhandling, hustling, perhaps even committing crimes to get money to end the days painful feelings of withdrawal symptoms and obtain the daily needed dose of drugs. In most cases, what us OPIATE LOVERS will do, actually, is sort of like this but with variations: wake up feeling w/ds, we usually will have kept a small amount of stuff or have accumulated enough leftovers from the night before to be able to have a wakeup shot that will alleviate the w/ds. In some cases, the amount that has been saved up from the prior evening is enough to get a full on nod in the morning. Either way, that isn't feesable for lots of us who cannot save anything for the next morning so the entire morning, say 4 hours maybe less, is really just about getting enough cash for the w/d releaving wake up shot. We're not trying to get enough money to score the daily load but just enough for the wake up. Furthermore, after achieving this, which is always unpleasant, painful and difficult, everything else becomes far easier because of the beautiful effects of what we're doing we're all of a sudden envigorated supermen and superwomen capable of getting enough money no matter what to get the rest of the days necessary opiates AS WELL AS food money AS WELL AS cigarette money. However, it does take time. At any rate, the main point here is for the most part, with slight variation here and there, the so called "addict" spends the majority of his day finding money, then using opiates. Therefor he is an addict, right? Or if he is a "functioning addict" then he doesnt go about it that way, he has enough money from his job or savings to be able to spend most of his/her day using or on opiates. that is a great life. i think many of us begin that way. Anyway - lets look at the lad who is not using opiates. He does the 9-5. Right. OK he wakes up at 6 or 7, gets to work in an hour or two then works from 9 to 5. He spends the hour or two in the morning, preparing for work, sort of like the opiate "addict" prepares for their so called "work." So 8 hours of the "normal" persons day for almost EVERY day is spent AT WORK. 1 or 2 of those hours is spent in preparation for work. IN MOST cases people have to take their work home and spend their own leisure hours working on things. Why dont we call this addiction? Again, remember that NO MATTER WHAT YOU THINK, NO MATTER HOW IGNORANT YOU ARE, YOU ARE NO MORE OR NO LESS THAN ANYBODY ELSE NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE HOW MUCH MONEY YOU HAVE WHAT COLOR YOU ARE IT DOESNT MATTER. WE ARE ALL INHERENTLY HUMAN. WE ALL LIVE. WE ALL DIE. IF YOU DONT GET THAT, YOU ARE USELESS. Now since NOBODY HAS THE RIGHT TO JUDGE ANYBODY ELSE, what makes the opiate user an addict? The fact that he spends his entire day pursuing and using opiates? That's clever. So because he doesnt spend his day like a typical capitalist he is branded with some horror word. IT DOESNT MATTER that he is ADHERING to the principal of this country, life liberty and the pursuit of happiness, right? No. So a person who doesnt use opiates but is your typical american working person... work is not addiction. But they spend the same amount of time at work, thinking about work and preparing for, as the so called evil addict? You see how this is all leveled for the prohibitionist? Its okay to spend time being a money addict and a money spending addict, you dont get labeled and treated like garbage for that. Why? Your just as consumed with some external thing as the opiate lover. It's just a joke. It's a big freakin joke that psychiatrists and psychologists get rich off of. "Drug counselor" what a scam! First of all if youve never done heroin then you never speak about heroin. I've given enough people their first shot or first purchase to know that you dont qualify if youve never done it. I dont care how many hours in college you spend. I dont care how many years youve read about something. You spend 10 years in school and billions of hours reading what you want, you learn everything you need to know about heroin and opiates in 10 seconds or less. Thats a fact. The term addict is a weapon for the prohibition industry. Lest we not forget, how did this all begin? It began with the opium tax. Opium was evil drug number 1 in the late 1880's. Villified, bastardized etc. When the early 1900's rolled around two doctors from bellevue. thats it TWO doctors. ONLY TWO. with NO SCIENTIFIC evidence used words that helped enact this hell on earth we face right now. What did one of those two doctors say? What was the compelling argument that they gave that allowed the government to TELL SOMEONE WHAT TO DO, kind of like FORCING someone to buy insurance? (OH THE OUTRAGE!! LOL) The doctor said, in a nutshell, that the taking of heroin, or opiates watever, was done by those who then do not adhere to the herd mentality. Its true. Look it up. Basically the doc said, people take opiates and then they do not adhere to the herd mentality, they do not become easy sheep. LOOK IT UP. Dont get mad at me just look it up and see for yourself. As disgusting as that is, what the other doctor said was worse (and i think it was a chick) that doctor had religious comments but on the same level. They talk about opiate users being sinners that dont conform. WHO THE HELL WANTS TO BE A CONFORMIST? well anyway.


Its true its damn true go look it up, get pissed off. its ridiculous that right now the USA gets pissed that the government is trying to force them to buy insurance and they take it to the supreme court HEY BUDDY DIDNT YOU REALIZE THE GOVERNMENT DECIDED IT HAD THE RIGHT TO FORCE YOU TO DO WHATEVER THE HELL IT WANTS YOU TO A LONG TIME AGO? I dont like it either and yes i will keep banging. I will and i never will stop and i will continue to fight to make AA/NA/CA/ETCETCETC go the way they made the vintage opium den go - EXTINCT. We can make their movement just as extinct as they try to make us. Start by taking those prohibitionist psychoBS words out  of your personal dictionary, ADDICTION, HIGH, ADDICT etc etc are their tools. Those things arent real. GET PISSED, GET A NOD ON AND LETS END THESE BASTARDS.

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 8:42am Permalink

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