Waterloo Region Public health wants your thoughts on supervised injection

Region of Waterloo is considering implementing a supervised injection site and public health wants to know what you think about it.

'Research shows that they prevent fatal overdoses'

The Ministry of Health has recently approved Guelph Community Health Centre's application to get an overdose prevention site at the end of April. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Waterloo region's public health department is considering a supervised injection site and is gauging the public's opinion through an online survey. 

Staff said the survey, which was launched on Oct. 25, will help the department make future decisions about supervised injection services, including how to address common questions and public concerns.

"We are considering supervised injection services because research shows that they prevent fatal overdoses, facilitate to treatment, recovery and other services," Grace Bermingham, manager of harm reduction, told CBC News. 

Bermingham added that supervised injection sites in Ontario have also been a way for municipalities to offer vulnerable people naloxone, counselling and addiction reduction services.

Response so far

Bermingham said the survey has been well received since it launched. Some people who respond don't know a lot about supervised injection sites, others do know about it and support it, still others are concerned about the idea. 

The survey is just one way public health is collecting public input and data on safe injection sites. Bermingham said they will also reach out to individuals who are active in their injection drug use.

"It's to get a sense of if we were to set these sites up, will they use them? And under what conditions would they use them — like hours of operation and location," she said.

She said the survey will be open for the next couple of weeks. Staff will present the results of the survey after the data is collected and revised.