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Fact: Supervised consumption sites do not encourage or promote drug use. They are harm reduction interventions designed to address the immediate health and safety risks associated with drug use. By providing a safe and judgement-free environment, SCS reduce overdose deaths, prevent the transmission of diseases like HIV and hepatitis C, and connect individuals with healthcare, cultural, and social services.
Fact: Research has consistently shown that supervised consumption sites do not contribute to an increase in crime rates. In fact, SCS' can have the opposite effect by reducing public drug use, syringe litter, and other drug-related crimes. Additionally, SCS often work closely with law enforcement agencies to maintain safety and security both within the facility and the surrounding community.
Fact: In order to get a Health Canada Exemption to open an SCS or recieve provincial funding safety measures are taken prior to opening.
Fact: Supervised consumption sites are not magnets for people selling drugs or drug trafficking. They are tightly regulated and monitored facilities that aim to provide a safe space for individuals to use drugs, receive harm reduction services, and access healthcare. SCS staff are trained to identify and deter any illegal activities within the facility, and work closely with law enforcement agencies to ensure community safety.
Fact: While supervised consumption sites do not directly address problematic drug use, they play a crucial role in keeping individuals alive and connected to necessary health services. They serve as entry points for individuals to engage with healthcare professionals, treatment options, mental health services, and other social supports. By providing a non-judgmental and supportive environment, SCS can help individuals build trust and develop a pathway to wellness.
Fact: Studies have shown that supervised consumption sites can lead to cost savings for communities. By preventing overdose deaths and reducing healthcare utilization associated with drug-related infections and injuries, SCS help alleviate the burden on emergency services and hospitals. They also contribute to community safety by reducing public drug use and improper syringe disposal, thus saving costs related to cleaning and law enforcement efforts.
Fact: SCS and outreach services are an across the board cost savings to communities.
1. Diverted Costs of Emergency Services: By renewing temporary funding for the SCS, we can significantly reduce the strain on our emergency services, including police, paramedics, and emergency departments. Individuals seeking care related to drug use can be appropriately directed to the SCS, where trained healthcare professionals can provide immediate support and interventions. This diversion of emergency resources allows our emergency services to allocate their efforts to critical emergencies, ensuring more efficient utilization of their time and expertise. Sudbury residents will have increased access to ambulance and emergency room services more readily available to meet their needs.
Recognizing the letters of support received from Sudbury & District Public Health, Strategy, Chief Pedersen, Medical Director of The Spot, CAMH, NOSM University & DR. R. Anderson, Associate Dean, HIV Legal Network, Sudbury & District Restorative Justice, along with the longstanding support of city council recognizing the need for this service in our communities.
2. Cost Savings: Renewing temporary funding of the SCS provides a cost-effective solution compared to the expenses incurred by emergency medical care, law enforcement, and incarceration. By preventing overdose deaths and reducing the transmission of diseases, the SCS contributes to long-term cost savings for our healthcare system. Additionally, the availability of healthcare services within SCS enables individuals to address substance use and medical challenges proactively, potentially reducing the need for more expensive treatments and interventions down the line. The team is currently compiling a list of cost to the city for every overdose that triggers emergency services – and the cost saving the Supervised Consumption Site is responsible for.
3. Enhanced Community Safety: The SCS plays a pivotal role in enhancing public safety. By providing a controlled environment for drug use, these sites minimize the occurrence of public drug consumption and its associated negative consequences, such as discarded needles and public disturbances, costly police enforcement calls. Consequently, the SCS contributes to creating a safer community for all residents, fostering a sense of security and well-being.
4. Lives Saved: The primary objective of the SCS is to prevent overdose deaths. With trained staff and healthcare professionals on-site , the SCS has promptly responded to 17 drug overdoses and administered life-saving interventions. By providing immediate assistance and reducing response times, the SCS has proven to be effective in saving lives and preventing unnecessary fatalities within our community. Renewing temporary funding will save lives!
FYI: A death investigation with an autopsy in a hospital costs at minimum $450+ (coroner's fee) + $1,200 (autopsy) + $400 (post-mortem facility fee) + $550 (body transportation) for a minimum cost at time of unregulated toxic drug overdose $2,600. This does not include costs to a police service. Please note: in 2022 112 residents of the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts died from an opioid-related overdose - it is heartbreaking to add these lives lost in dollar figures to recognize the overwhelming need for alternative health models.
The supervised consumption site not only yields significant cost savings but also demonstrates a commitment to compassionate and evidence-based approaches to substance use issues. By providing individuals with access to comprehensive care, we can address the underlying health concerns associated with substance use and promote linkage to care and community engagement. SCS/CTS save lives!