Frequently Asked Questions
What is an OPS?
- A safe, hygienic environment for people to inject pre-obtained drugs under the supervision of staff.
- We provide sterile injection supplies, education, overdose prevention and intervention, nursing and other services and referrals.
- A low barrier, lifesaving service to address the opioid crisis which has affected the Dundas/Sherbourne area quite acutely.
Why an OPS at Street Health?
- Opioid deaths in Ontario have increased by 52% and emergency room visits due to suspected overdose have increased by 72% in the past year.
- Toronto Public Health has identified our neighbourhood as a ‘hot spot’ for overdose.
- We have been delivering harm reduction services in the community for many years
- The service is located in the fully-accessible backyard coach house within our existing space.
- The service has two booths for supervised injection and a small area for post-consumption monitoring.
- The service operates during our current opening hours and is staffed by experienced harm reduction workers with nursing back up.
- Most of the people using the service will be existing clients.
What are the benefits of an OPS?
- Reducing the number of drug overdoses
- Reducing the risk factors leading to infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis
- Enabling access to & Increasing the use of detox and drug treatment services
- Connecting people with other health and social services
- Reducing the number of publicly discarded needles; and
- Reducing the cost of health care services.
- Here is a convenient OPS flyer that we encourage you to print, post, and share.
- Safe-Injection & Overdose Prevention sites in Toronto
- Opioid Subsitution Programs & Methadone/Suboxone Clinics
- The Lancet, April 2019 "Canada's Overdose Crisis: authorities are not acting fast enough" (G. Kolla, Z. Dodd, J. Ko, N. Boyce, S. Ovens)
Opening this important service could not have occurred without the courage and determination of Street Health staff, Board, students, community members and clients. Thank you for your commitment and passion and for staying hopeful and working together to improve the lives of our clients & larger community.