Overdose prevention site to open in weeks
Tory government had put a freeze on Postive Living’s plans
Positive Living Niagara executive director Glen Walker hopes to finally open the doors of St. Catharines’ overdose prevention site next month, after months of delay.
He said Thursday there a few elements of the facility yet to fall in place since a review of the site’s plan was completed by the provincial government in late October.
“But if all goes well, we should be looking at some sort of a December opening,” he said, referring to the program planned for Positive Living Niagara’s offices at 120 Queenston St.
“As soon as I get more details as far as a solid date, I’ll certainly reach out to people to let them know what we’re doing,” he said.
The opioid overdose prevention site was previously approved for St. Catharines by the former Liberal provincial government, to help address the growing number of fentanyl overdoses occurring in the region and particularly in St. Catharines.
That plan was put on hold in August by the Tories, to give the
recently elected provincial government an opportunity to review the effectiveness of such facilities.
Although the Ministry of Health later gave previously approved facilities the greenlight to proceed, the province said the sites must also include a focus on treatment and rehabilitation services.
Walker said the sites are now required to have “all these different connections and services,” leading to a “much more integrated model.”
But Walker said plans for the local overdose prevention site already included similar initia- tives.
“Almost all the sites in the province were offering something very similar to what the ministry has actually come out with,” he said.
Walker said details about funding for the sites “isn’t really well laid out.”
The province, however, is expected to roll out more details about its plan in the spring.
“We’re just trying to jump through a few more hoops before we get going, but we’re hoping we’ll see things happening in December,” Walker said.
St. Catharines’ overdose prevention site was initially to be opened in September, and run for a six-month period before being replaced with a permanent program.
Vials of fentanyl are shown in the inpatient pharmacy at University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City.