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Consumption and treatment services could be on the way to Woodstock and St. Thomas

Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) completed the first phase of a feasibility study in June concerning the need for supervised consumption sites in Woodstock and St. Thomas.

"Our focus right now is what's called the consumption and treatment service. So this is a provincial term that includes a supervised consumption site that's integrated with addiction treatment services, as well as a number of wraparound sites," said Dr. Ninh Tran, Medical Officer of Health for SWPH.

A special meeting has been called for September 26 that will allow delegations, including SWPH to make presentations on the issue.

Woodstock Mayor Jerry Accione said it’s an important discussion for council.

"Southwestern Public Health has identified Woodstock and St. Thomas as a possible site for the safe injection sites. We are discussing to see if the need is great enough for here in the city of Woodstock," said Accione.

City Councilor Mark Schadenberg said anyone who wants to speak about the potential of a site in Woodstock should sign up as a delegate for the meeting.

"We want to know what's the correct route or what's the good news scenarios, the bad news scenarios, how does it work?" he added.

Dr. Tran said the need for these services extends beyond big urban centres, "We’re doing this exploration because we have a significant problem with opioids. It's all across Ontario. It's not just big urban cities. Our rates have, for a number of indicators, are actually worse than the provincial average. So it's something that's impacting, you know, lots of members."

Those wishing to appear before council on the topic must fill out a delegation request form by September 22. Municipal support is required in order for the health unit to pursue provincial funding for any site. Top Stories

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