Addiction Services of Thames Valley (ADSTV) supports all efforts to reduce the impact of opiate use on the population and community as per our Vision Statement above. The services we support include Consumption and Treatment Sites, Needle Exchange and Safe Opiate Supply (SOS) as well as access to addiction treatment as desired
A safe opiate supply strategy is grounded in harm reduction. The challenges associated with the COVID-19 crisis have exacerbated drug overdose deaths in Ontario broadly. In May 2020, Ontario had the highest number of opiate related deaths since 2018. Public Health Ontario reported that May 2020 had the highest number of opiate deaths since 2003.
SOS addresses this problem by providing a safe supply of what might otherwise be a lethal drug, the use of which has extensive social costs and burdens. A Safe Opiate Supply provides a process for:
- Valuing the life of every human regardless of life choices;
- Providing opportunities for users to access service options along the continuum of care if they choose;
- Reducing costs associated with overdose in the health system and community.
The opportunity to provide a Safe Opiate Supply would also address the documented inequities in the health care system where marginalized people are disproportionately represented in both overdose and COVID deaths.
View full position statement here.