Community Health Centre Head Endorses Safe Injection Site

The head of the Windsor Essex Community Health Centres says a safe injection site in the downtown is needed.

WECHC Executive Director Patrick Brown says an Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) is a medical necessity.

The AIDS Committee of Windsor and the Community Health Centre have submitted a joint application for a temporary overdose prevention site.

Speaking on the Lynn Martin Show on AM800, Brown says kicking an opioid addiction is difficult and people have to be helped until they are able to get off the drugs.

He says the OPS would have clean injection equipment and counselling available.

"All of those supplies would be available to them to prevent any infections or transmission of Hep-C or HIV," says Brown. "Addiction support workers would also be there to talk to them about the potential of looking at either replacement therapy or treatment and recovery."

Brown believes there needs to be a community conversation, but right now there are few answers.

"So one of the advantages of having an OPS open while we do this consultation process is we can certainly engage the community," he says. "You know, it's part education, listening to what their fears are, weeing how we can take steps to alleviate the impact and also have some real data to rely upon."

The proposed site would be set up on Pelissier Street, where a lot of the opioid activity is already taking place.

The idea has support from the neighbours, but Windsor Police Chief has expressed opposition to it.