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Overdose Prevention Site To Open Monday

A facility where drug users can consume narcotics without fear of a fatal overdose will open its doors in downtown London next week.

The Middlesex London Health Unit said its Temporary Overdose Prevention Site (TOPS) at 186 King St. will open on Monday. The site, which shares space with the Regional HIV/AIDS Connection, was announced last month after the health unit secured $130,000 in provincial funding. It will operate Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 4pm. People using the services will enter through a separate entrance at the back of the building.

“Intended to prevent opioid overdoses and deaths, temporary overdose prevention sites were part of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s expansion of its response to Ontario’s opioid drug crisis,” the health unit said in a news release issued Friday afternoon. “Staffing at the London TOPS will be drawn from employees of the Middlesex-London Health Unit, Regional HIV/AIDS Connection, the Canadian Mental Health Association, London Intercommunity Health Centre, the Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre, London CAReS and Addiction Services of Thames Valley.”

The Middlesex London Health Unit is continuing its effort to get approval for one or more permanent supervised consumption facilities within the city.