Interim supervised injection site opening in ByWard Market

Josh Pringle, CTV Morning Live

An interim supervised injection site is set to open in the ByWard Market.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Isra Levy is recommending Ottawa Public Health take immediate steps to open a temporary supervised injection site at the Ottawa Sexual Health Clinic on Clarence Street.

CTV’s Catherine Lathem says the interim site will open within the next two weeks.

The supervised injection site would be run by the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre, and be staffed by Ottawa Public Health employees.  The proposed supervised injection site will operate seven days a week, with hours of operation to be confirmed.

Overdose Prevention Ottawa says over 500 people have used its pop-up safe injection site on St. Patrick Street since it opened in late August.

In a memo to Councillors, Levy says “I believe there is an urgent and immediate need for enhancement to harm reduction services to include SIS (Supervised Injection Services) in our city.”  Levy adds Public Health will work with the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre to seek approval from Health Canada for an interim SIS to enhance existing harm reduction services offered through Ottawa Public Health’s site program at 179 Clarence Street.

Ottawa Public Health says there were 40 opioid-related deaths in Ottawa in 2016. There have been nearly 120 emergency room visits for suspected opioid overdose each month in Ottawa this year.