Guelph’s overdose prevention site sees over 4,000 visits in under a year
A sign leading to Guelph's overdose prevention site at 176 Wyndham St. is seen here.
Guelph’s overdose prevention site has seen over 4,000 visits in under a year, according to an evaluation by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.
Public Health revealed in a release Tuesday that the site saw 4,085 visits from 401 individuals during the period of the evaluation from May 2018 to March 2019.
"The OPS offers a spark of hope in the midst of a lot of darkness in this overdose crisis," said Raechelle Devereaux, Executive Director of the Guelph Community Health Centre in the release. "The OPS is helping some of the most vulnerable people in our community who otherwise might end up as an overdose fatality or a patient in the local ER.”
The evaluation also involved interviews from 51 clients and 14 staff, looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the site in the Guelph Community Health Centre.
It found the key strengths included a welcoming and safe environment, accessibility to harm reduction supplies and education, and on-site medical care.
The challenges it identified included space and privacy concerns, hours of operation, wait times, limited staff, and some limitations on referrals.
The release also stated that of the 45 overdoses at the site, 100 per cent were reversed, and there were no deaths.
"Guelph's Overdose Prevention Site is one strategy in a multi-service approach to help people who use drugs in our community," said Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health in the release. "Public Health supports this work because it is saving lives.”