Wednesday, July 5, 2017 6:47:37 EDT PM
I visited the SHCHC to speak with Rob Boyd. He is a former Orillia resident, and director of the Oasis Program largely responsible for the SHCHC's drug-treatment services. We sat down, in the room where the supervised injection site is planned to be established, to discuss what will be the centre's newest initiative.
"Once we have our injection service up and running "¦ people will be able to connect with case-management services, they'll be able to go to the drop in afterwards to connect with the staff, and go to the clinic if they have any other health concerns. Or, if the nurse who's in here identifies something that they might want to have checked out, they will immediately be able to connect with the primary care services; they are going to be available right across the hall," Boyd said.
When consuming hard drugs on the street, away from medical care, users can put themselves at high risk of overdose and death. By promoting safer drug use on location, emergencies will be less common and handled more swiftly. Additionally, users would be exposed to a host of services that could help to treat their addiction and other medical and socioeconomic problems.
It was also clear from our conversation that in order to deal with this problem effectively in Canada, focus needed to be put on managing and decreasing use, not just eliminating it.
"Very few people actually achieve abstinence. But, to make that the goal for everybody actually sets people up for failure "¦ So, this idea that we have to completely eradicate drug use, it's not even an aspirational goal; it's a delusional goal."
Drug use is a reality our society will always face. If we are to deal with drug use in a meaningful way, we need to change our approach to it.
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Jay Fallis grew up just outside of Orillia and is passionate about Canadian politics. He has a master's in political science from the University of Toronto. He can be reached at email@example.com.