Health unit takes next step to fight opioid crisis

The Middlesex-London Health Unit applied for a Temporary Overdose Prevention Site Friday.

The health unit says due to a public health emergency, this application is the next phase to fight the crisis.

A release from the health unit notes the importance of having integrated services linking to wraparound support, treatment and rehabilitation.

“Temporary Overdose Prevention Sites, and even the more permanent Supervised Consumption Facilities, are not going to end the drug crisis. Londoners clearly recognize that, and want these facilities to offer links with other services,” says Dr. Christopher Mackie, Medical Officer of Health at MLHU.

“With the input of neighbourhoods where the need is greatest, combined with new tools that will allow us to begin this work, we are now closer to being able to implement solutions for those at greatest risk.”

The release says that while the establishment of SCFs is still months away, acknowledgement of the public health emergency clears the way for temporary services to be established more quickly.

Now the search is on for a suitable TOPS location.

The Health Unit and its partners expect to make an announcement about the location of the site, which will be in downtown London, in the coming days.

In the first half of 2017, at least 1,460 people died due to opioid-related overdose, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.