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Kyle couldn’t say how many of the respite and temporary COVID hotel shelters will have a similar full in-house service. But she said SSHA is working closely “with every shelter program” to develop plans for overdose prevention and response, some of which may include “peer witnessing programs.”
This means that residents will consume drugs while an appointed staff person or peer watches.
Asked why rehab services are not getting the attention they should in the harm reduction model, Kyle said those services are run by the province — that iPHARE was developed to augment services to “help save lives.”
The city of Toronto sites planned are not and will not be “safe supply sites” — at least not yet. Safe supply sites provide heroin and other opioids, cocaine and crystal meth free of charge.
But the Trudeau government did provide $1.6 million in funding last August, which has allowed two safe drug supply programs to open in Toronto — one through the Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre and the other through the Downtown East Collaborative Safe Opioid Supply Program — operating at some of the sites noted above.
Drug users will have access to free prescriptions for the highly addictive opioid hydromorphone.
It could be only a matter of time before “safer supply sites” become part of Toronto’s Overdose Prevention menu of services if Board of Health chair and vice-chair Joe Cressy and Kristyn Wong-Tam have their way.
Dressed in the guise of saving lives during a “worsening opioid poisoning crisis” because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cressy and the board of health are urgently pushing the expansion of safer supply initiatives in the province and the decriminalizing the simple possession of all drugs for personal use.
But do these services really save lives in the end?
In my view, it seems the leftist/activist response to the “war on drugs” has become one of sheer surrender.
I’m certainly not suggesting drug addicts should overdose and die on the streets. but the pendulum has swung too far in the wrong direction
There now seems to be a “let’s just wave the white flag and forget about fighting addiction” mentality. Let’s create an army of tormented addicted souls who are dependent on their next fix, albeit a clean one.
It is shameful to think society and our city has come to this.