Following in the footsteps of Vancouver, the Toronto Board of Health in Canada announced this week that they have approved the set-up of a supervised injection site for opioid users.
The site aims to provide a place for addicts to safely inject drugs, where they can have access to health services and safety measures. The site plans to have an antidote available in the case of overdose, in order to save lives.
The creation of an injection site in Canada’s largest city is still awaiting the approval of city council, but is being encourage by family members and friends of victims of drug overdoses, who feel it would reduce the existing dangers that drug users face.
One family in particular, is feeling the affect of a present lack of community support for drug addicts, as their 22-year-old daughter recently died of an overdose, in a Toronto alleyway.
Brooklyn McNeil had advocated for additional safety measures recently, speaking on the issue to the Toronto Board of Health.
“If there was a safe injection site I think she would still be alive,” John MacDonald, a counselor who worked with McNeil told the board this past Monday. “I don’t know how many more young people we need to lose before we say this needs to happen sooner rather than later.”
According to a report on abcnews.com, Toronto has seeing a huge increase in the recreational use of heroin and other opioids in recent years, resulting in a 77% increase in the reported number of people dying from overdose in the city from 2004 to 2014.
In 2004, 146 people succumbed to an opioid overdose, and 258 individuals died from their use in 2014.