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article imageSafe injection sites OKed — Toronto gears up to fight drug crisis

By Karen Graham     Jan 9, 2017 in Health
Toronto - Provincial Health Minister Eric Hoskins spoke with Toronto mayor John Tory today, telling him the province backs the city's plan to open three safe injection sites, committing to fund the sites at an estimated cost of $1.6 million annually.
Back on November 30, the city of Toronto and two local health providers formally requested federal permission to open the safe injection sites, something Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott, supports. But the province had been unwilling to commit to the sites.
But with Ontario now on board and agreeing to fund the sites to the tune of about $400,000 each annually, Toronto will become the first Ontario city and third Canadian city to have the safe injection sites. In Toronto alone, overdose deaths increased by 77 percent between 2004 and 2014, and from 146 in 2004 to 258 in 2014.
In July 2016, Toronto City Council overwhelmingly approved the integration of three safe injection sites in the Queen West, Leslieville and Yonge-Dundas neighborhoods, all areas where a majority of drug use is already taking place.
According to CTV News, Hoskins says the safe injection sites fit in with Toronto's overall opioid crisis strategy and the expansion of its harm-reduction services that include making changes to prescribing and dispensing and improved data collection.
Hoskins said that one in eight opioid-related deaths in Toronto is in people between the ages of 25 and 34. And one big part of Toronto's opioid drug strategy kicks off today with the first meeting of Mayor John Tory's Toronto Overdose Early Warning and Alert Partnership.
Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Toronto’s acting medical officer of health will be chairing the first series of meetings, intended to build a strategy to deal with and prevent any spike in fentanyl and other illicit drug overdoses in the city, according to Digital Journal last week.
More about toronto ontario, safe injection sites, fentanyl crisis, Mayor John Tory, opioid crisis
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