Harm reduction is working. That’s the message health officials were sending out Thursday as they updated the community on efforts to fight the ongoing opioid crisis in London.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie told a group of politicians, front-line harm reduction workers, and police officials that, unexpectedly last year, a decline in opioid related deaths and overdoses began to emerge.

In the first quarter of 2018 there were 22 opioid-related deaths. That was down to 12 deaths in the second quarter, then eight deaths in the third quarter.

Mackie credits a number of factors, including the temporary supervised consumption site on King Street, and police officers carrying naloxone.

Since it opened in February of last year there have been 13,719 visits to the safe injection site, where staff have reversed 83 overdoses.

And police officers have administered 96 doses of naloxone to 59 people, 57 of whom survived.