Ottawa Public Health to Share Drug Test Results Online for Supervised Injection Sites

Ottawa Public Health to Share Drug Test Results Online for Supervised Injection Sites

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is implementing a new initiative to provide residents with more information about the city’s illicit drug supply. The organization plans to post the results of drug tests conducted at supervised injection sites online. This move comes as OPH acquires four drug-testing machines, two of which will be purchased and two obtained through a provincial research initiative.

These machines will be installed at facilities that house consumption and treatment services centers, also known as supervised injection sites. Ottawa Inner City Health and Sandy Hill Community Health Centre have already launched their own drug-testing services using mass spectrometers. However, the new machines aim to provide more accurate and reliable information.

Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s medical officer of health, emphasizes the importance of accurate information about drug composition. She states that drug-checking has been shown to change people’s behavior in other places, prompting individuals to use drugs more cautiously or choose not to consume particular substances altogether. The machines will not only save lives but also offer broad-based information that can benefit the entire community.

The data from the drug-testing machines will be logged and compared to the drugs individuals believe they have purchased. The machines have a wide range of substances in their library, and any discrepancies between perceived and actual drug composition will be recorded. This information, combined with data from all four machines, will give a comprehensive overview of the unregulated drug supply in Ottawa.

The city is currently facing a severe opioid and overdose crisis, with 49 overdose-related deaths occurring in the first three months of this year. By sharing the drug test results, OPH aims to provide individuals with the necessary information to make informed decisions about their drug use and mitigate the risks associated with it.

In light of the ongoing crisis, OPH plans to increase public awareness, improve data sharing, and further develop its overdose strategy. This includes strengthening the existing overdose prevention and response task force and bringing on new members to ensure a comprehensive and effective response.

Overall, this initiative by Ottawa Public Health demonstrates a commitment to transparency and the well-being of its residents, as it seeks to provide valuable information and support in the midst of a growing drug crisis.

– Ottawa Public Health
– The Canadian Press

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