Waterloo Region eyes opening safe injection sites
Ryan Flanagan, CTV Kitchener
Published Wednesday, October 25, 2017 4:26PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 26, 2017 6:23AM EDT
As communities across Canada start opening spaces for drug users to inject themselves safely, Waterloo Region may join the club.
The region has launched an anonymous online survey asking the public for their thoughts on whether safe injection sites should be opened locally.
The survey aims to gather data around the public perception of safe injection sites and whether drug users would utilize them.
It is a necessary step before the region can apply to the federal government for an exemption that would allow such a site to open.
Advocates of safe injection sites say they can help drug users by providing people with access to public health services and drug safety information, as well as potentially preventing fatal overdoses. Additionally, areas where safe injection sites have opened have seen fewer needles and syringes being left in other parts of the neighbourhood.
No final decisions have been made on whether the region will open safe injection sites or where they could be located.
Opioid overdoses caused 38 deaths in Waterloo Region in 2016, and 28 more in the first four months of 2017.