(WINDSOR, ON) – The Windsor Essex Community Health Centre and the AIDS Committee of Windsor have filed a joint application with the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to host an overdose prevention site in Windsor. The facility would allow the supervised use of illegal drugs.
The application, which plans for an injection site in Unit 1 at 711 Pelissier Street if approved, will operate for three to six months with the possibility of extension. Health Canada issued an exemption from federal legislation to Ontario to establish temporary overdose prevention sites across the province. The exemption is needed to protect front-line workers at the sites from criminal prosecution.
Overdose prevention sites provide targeted services to combat overdoses related to the opioid crisis. The Pelissier Street site would have a two-person staff.
- Supervised injection,
- Naloxone, and
- Provision of harm reduction supplies including, but not limited to needles, syringes, and other safe drug use equipment, and the disposal of used harm reduction supplies.
Based on need, OPS can provide or permit peer to peer assisted injection, supervised oral and intranasal drug consumption, and Fentanyl test strips as a drug checking service.
The two agencies are expecting to hear back from the ministry within the next few days. According to the province, the application and approval process takes 14 days.
There is no current provision by the province to create permanent OPS.
The Windsor Police Service does not support the application for a supervised injection site, however. Police Chief Al Frederick is concerned about an increase in crimes related to drug use and the lack of consultation in the application process.
Twenty-seven people in Windsor died from opioid overdoses last year.