Province moving forward with addiction treatment plan

Queen's Park Toronto ( file photo by Sue Storr)

The Ford government is continuing to set up a new model for a program that oversees supervised injection sites.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced last month that they will be placing a new Consumption and Treatment Services (CTS) plan in place by January 2019. However, in light of several suspected drug-related deaths in Windsor over the weekend, discussion continues over the creation of a safe-injection site in the city.

Windsor police have confirmed that four people died over the weekend from causes that are suspected to be related to drug overdoses. A fifth person, originally believed to have died, was saved according to police. Three more patients were treated in similar cases according to Essex-Windsor EMS spokesman Donald McArthur.

Although a safe injection site is not currently planned for Windsor, the Ministry says their re-configured program will help save lives across Ontario.

“The new CTS model will continue to save lives by helping to prevent and reverse overdoses,” said ministry spokesman David Jensen in a media release. “It will also feature an enhanced and necessary focus on connecting people who use drugs to primary care, treatment and rehabilitation, and other health and social services.”

Existing safe-injection sites, such as one currently operational in London, can continue to operate under CTS by applying under the new model. Sites would set up a monitoring system set to comprehensive enforcement and audit protocol. Referrals of patients to treatment and rehab will also be part of the CTS model.

Jensen said the province’s priority as far as curbing the opioid crisis is concerned is to ensure those who are dependent are referred to treatment programs.