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How London, Ontario Leads the Way in its Response to the Opioid Crisis

Last week, on Monday, February 12, 2018, the first sanctioned Temporary Overdose Prevention Site (TOPS) in the province opened in London, Ontario.

The service provides those who use drugs access to a safe & sanitary environment, clean single-use supplies, access to naloxone and care should an overdose occur along with links to numerous community social services such as addictions support, mental health services, housing etc. depending on the client’s needs. Those who use the Temporary Overdose Prevention Site are able to use the service as often as they would like - even multiple times a day. A health card or identification is not needed to access the Temporary Overdose Prevention Site.

London along with many other communities across the province and across the country face a multitude of crises as a result of the opioid crisis. People are dying - it is public health emergency that demands action. London hopes to open (a) Supervised Consumption Site(s) in the future - which offer the above in permanent settings with longer/ expanded service hours. The Middlesex-London Health Unit with Regional HIV AIDS Connection and several community agencies have partnered together to make this much-needed support a reality in our city. The partners include Canadian Mental Health Association Middlesex, London Intercommunity Health Centre, the Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre, London CAReS and Addiction Services of Thames Valley. Special thanks are extended to Minister of Health & Long-Term Care, Dr. Eric Hoskins and the Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care for their funding and support of the Temporary Overdose Prevention Site.

The Temporary Overdose Prevention Site is operating within the space of Regional HIV AIDS Connection which also operates Counterpoint Needle and Syringe Program - as it is familiar to those who use drugs and access their supports. You can view a photo-based tour of the Temporary Overdose Prevention Site on Wakelet.com.