Overdose Prevention Ottawa ends operations

By Josh Pringle, CTV Morning Live

Overdose Prevention Ottawa’s supervised injection site in a Lowertown Park is officially closed.

Volunteers packed up the tents Thursday evening after eleven weeks of offering harm reduction services to people in Raphael Brunet Park.

There were 57 visits to the site on the last day of operation. Since the site opened on August 25, there were more than 3,500 visits to the site.

57 visits on the last day of @odpreventionott. Thank you to our volunteers for their awesome energy ! See u tomorrow 6-9 for celebration ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ZOaGzrn1Pu

— Marilou Gagnon RNPhD (@mlgagnon_XVII) November 10, 2017

On Tuesday, Overdose Prevention Ottawa announced “with heavy hearts” that it was closing the service. In a statement, the organization said “Overdose Prevention Ottawa has been successful in our mission to bring accessible, safer consumption services to the area of our city most affected by the overdose emergency.”

On Twitter, Councillor Catherine McKenney said “your commitment to the health and dignity of all residents of the city should be celebrated. Thank you @odpreventionott.”

Your commitment to the health & dignity of all residents of the city should be celebrated. Thank you @odpreventionott #HarmReduction https://t.co/LXORvw7R1d

— Catherine McKenney (@cmckenney) November 8, 2017

Overdose Prevention Ottawa says it will transition to the second phase of advocacy and service delivery, and take steps to ensure the health and well-being of those who are most at risk of preventable death.

Ottawa Inner City Health opened a safe injection site in a trailer at the Shepherds of Good Hope on Tuesday morning. Ottawa Public Health is operating an interim safe injection site at its sexual health clinic on Clarence Street.