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July 26, 2017

Health Canada Authorizes New Supervised Consumption Site in Ottawa, Ontario

Sandy Hill Community Health Centre

Ottawa’s first supervised consumption site will provide needed services to help address the opioid crisis.

Our government remains committed to using all levers at our disposal and to working with all partners across the country to combat the current overdose epidemic.

Today, Health Canada granted an exemption to the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre in Ottawa, Ontario to operate a supervised consumption site. This fixed site is the first in Ottawa and, once operational, will provide supervised injection services along with additional harm reduction and counselling services to its clients in downtown Ottawa. 

The Government of Canada fully supports harm reduction measures, such as supervised consumption sites, as an important part of a comprehensive approach in addressing the opioid crisis facing many Canadians across the country. International and Canadian evidence has shown that, when properly established and maintained, supervised consumption sites save lives without increasing drug use or crime in the surrounding area.  They also reduce transmission of communicable diseases, decrease infections, reduce emergency room use and hospital admissions related to injection drug use, and decrease overdose deaths.

Bill C-37, which received Royal Assent on May 18, 2017, streamlines the application process for supervised consumption sites, without compromising the health and safety of clients, staff, or the surrounding community. As of July 26, 2017, Health Canada has approved a total of 15 supervised consumption sites.

The Government of Canada is taking action to address the public health crisis related to opioid overdoses and deaths across the country. Our approach is comprehensive, collaborative, compassionate, grounded in sound evidence, and firmly dedicated to saving lives and protecting the health and safety of Canadians.

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