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Public Survey: Permanent overdose prevention site

Timmins, Ontario - Tuesday, May 3, 2022

The Timmins and Area Drug Strategy (TADS) is asking community members to complete a survey that is part of a research project by Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) residents looking at the need for and the feasibility of an overdose prevention site in Timmins. Overdose prevention sites are also known as safe consumption sites, consumption treatment services (CTS) or supervised injection sites. The results of this project will be used to help inform planning and application for a provincially funded CTS in our area.

People who are 16 years of age and older who live, work or study in Timmins can complete an anonymous online survey. Community consultation is a necessary part of the provincial and federal application process. It ensures the ideas and concerns of the community are heard and addressed, and that the services meet the needs of people who use substances as well as the broader community. 

The survey will be open May 1 to May 31, 2022 and will take about 10 minutes to complete.  The survey is available in French and English online   Paper surveys are also available in English, French and Cree by contacting the Porcupine Health Unit at 705-267-1181 ext. 2992. A postage-paid envelope will be included for easy return. The public will be informed of the results from the survey once the results have been compiled.

“In 2020, our district had opioid-related death rates almost 3 times higher than the rest of the province.” states Dr. Samson, co-lead of the addictions services at Timmins and District Hospital and clinical supervisor for the Northern Ontario School of Medicine led feasibility study. “Our community needs more strategies and services addressing the opioid crisis, including a Consumption Treatment Services, to improve the lives of those with substance use disorders and to contribute to a healthier community overall.”

A CTS site is one part of a larger, comprehensive approach within the Timmins and Area Drug Strategy (TADS). TADS is a partnership of community health and social agencies working together to address opioid and substance use within our communities in a collaborative, coordinated way. 

CTS have wrap-around services built in to meet the health and social needs of those with substance use disorders, including:

  • treatment
  • counselling
  • medical services
  • social services
  • client education

Consumption Treatment Services also help to decrease deaths and hospital visits due to overdose emergencies and reduce unsafe injection practices like needle sharing that can lead to the transmission of diseases such as Hepatitis C and HIV.

“It’s important to note that this survey is not about the temporary Urgent Public Health Needs Site – Safe Health Site Timmins,” reports Tina Brunet, Harm Reduction Coordinator with the Porcupine Health Unit. “This survey marks the beginning of the engagement process as we work to develop a CTS in our community, a process that will include the opportunity for community engagement and feedback. The Safe Health Site Timmins is being implemented as a temporary measure to address an immediate and urgent need in our community and is set to open soon.”

The Porcupine Health Unit is located in Northeastern Ontario, serving the entire Cochrane District and Hornepayne, in Algoma District. The main office is located in Timmins, Ontario, with branch offices in Cochrane, Hearst, Hornepayne, Iroquois Falls, Kapuskasing, Matheson, Moosonee, and Smooth Rock Falls.