Ottawa's 4th supervised injection site opens in Chinatown
Lack of site in area led to rise in overdoses, deaths, Somerset West CHC says
Ottawa's fourth supervised drug injection site has opened in Chinatown.
The Somerset West Community Health Centre announced Wednesday morning it had opened a temporary injection site in its Eccles Street building.
The four-station injection site will be open and staffed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.
A six-station permanent injection area is under construction in the same building. There is no target date for it to open.
The health centre got approval from Health Canada in December to open a supervised injection site, and got approval to start building it last week, it said in the news release.
"The lack of a safe space to inject drugs in Somerset Ward has resulted in a tragic increase in opioid overdose incidents, deaths and community trauma experienced by residents and our clients," it said in a news release.
3 other sites in ByWard Market
According to a 2016 Ottawa Public Health report. the ward had the second-highest rate of average annual emergency room visits related to unintentional drug overdoses between 2013 and 2015.
Ottawa's three other supervised injection sites are in the ByWard Market area, with the first on Clarence Street opening its doors in September 2017.
Staff are on hand at the sites in case clients experience an overdose. They also provide support services.
Ottawa now has the same number of operating supervised injection sites as Toronto, Edmonton and Montreal.