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SHST has strong case for permission to stay open, and renewable government funding

The next looming deadline for Safe Health Site Timmins – the supervised injection site on Cedar Street North – is June 30th, when its permission to allow drug consumption expires.

Operation is transitioning from the district hospital to the Canadian Mental Health Association. CMHA executive director Paul Jalbert says several developments since it opened in July, 2022 make a good case to extend that permission and provide renewable government funding.

“We’ve seen the reduction in opioid overdose deaths in our community,” he cites. “We were at somewhere around 80 per 100,000 and I think we’re now closer to 50 per 100,000.”

Jalbert adds that strengthening that are figures showing decreasing demand for consumption services by SHST clients, and increasing demand for other services such as counselling and withdrawal management.

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“We can see that people are getting connected to treatment, because harm reduction is only part of the solution. We want people connected to the supports and the treatment modalities that will benefit them.”

Concurrent to the June 30th end of the exemption to drug laws that allows SHST to operate, CMHA and the district hospital are trying to secure renewable government funding.

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