VIDEO: Overdose Prevention Site Coming To Windsor
A privately funded and staffed Overdose Prevention Site could be coming to Windsor as early as Nov. 1 — that's according to Brandon Bailey of Windsor's Overdose Prevention Society.
The PC's put a planned public site on hold after being elected in 2018. Bailey is one of 26 members of the WOPS, and after seeing three or four friends a week overdose in recent months, the group just couldn't wait any longer.
"Regularly hearing about another friend or another person that I know in the community that's dying from overdose," he says. "I think we're just at a point where we're sick and tired of losing people, losing our loved ones, or friends, our family. We're just at the point where we want to step in."
He wants to dispel some common myths, the biggest one being drug dealers are attracted to safe injection sites, or the sites provide them with more drugs, something that is ridiculous he says.
They're provided with safety, treatment, and intervention for those who want help. Bailey says it's all about making sure people don't die alone under a bridge, or in a neighbourhood alley.
"We want to put it in an area where there's already people using so we'll bring the location to them, then they will have a safe space to be able to provided first aid if needed," he says.
The subject of needles being found all over the city, including in play-areas, is an a example of why getting users in one spot isn't just about their safety — Edmonton is an example of where this system has worked to prevent needles thrown aside after users hid in an ally or at a nearby school.
"Yes, we are more than 200,000 compared to Edmonton's 800,000, but that's 16,000 less needles they had to find on the streets ... so that tells you right there, we'd be taking thousands of needles off the streets for people to accidentally find," says Bailey.
Bailey isn't being specific, but the organization has been in contact with authorities leading up to the opening of the Site.
Once a site has been chosen the group will launch a door to door education campaign to help neighbours understand why it's in the best interest of the user, and the residents.
Copy of a statement issued by Windsor's Overdose Prevention Society on Oct. 12, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Brandon Bailey)