TORONTO – Harm reduction workers in Toronto say supervised consumption sites and safe supply programs need to be expanded to prevent more overdose deaths in the city.
Toronto Public Health issued a drug alert recently, saying there were 10 suspected opioid overdose-related deaths last week.
It also said fentanyl continues to show up in the local drug supply in a variety of colours “with unpredictable potency and contamination.”
Dayn Kent, co-ordinator of the consumption and treatment service at the Regent Park Community Health Centre, says “robust” safe supply programs – which provide prescribed medications as alternatives to illegal drugs – are necessary to address the “toxic supply” in Toronto.
Hayley Thompson, project manager of Toronto’s drug checking service, says supervised consumption sites and safe supply programs need to be scaled up to prevent overdose-related deaths.
Nick Boyce, director of the Ontario Harm Reduction Network, says governments should support safer alternatives for illegal drugs, such as pharmaceutical quality options, to prevent further overdose deaths.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 29, 2022.