Category: Press Release
Posted: February 20 2024
Author: Toronto Star/CDPE

Toronto Star: Here’s what happened to overdose deaths in Toronto neighbourhoods with safe consumption sites

A new study published in The Lancet shows a significant reduction in opioid overdose deaths in Toronto neighborhoods near supervised consumption sites, with a 67% decrease within 500 meters of the sites and benefits extending up to five kilometers.

The research, which analyzed 787 fatal overdoses from May 2017 to December 2019, found that mortality rates dropped from 8.1 to 2.7 deaths per 100,000 in areas with these sites. Toronto has ten such sites where individuals can use drugs under medical supervision, receive safer consumption guidance, and access life-saving interventions like Naloxone.

Supervised consumption sites have been contentious, facing opposition from some community members and a recent class-action lawsuit alleging mismanagement and neighborhood decline. However, the study’s lead author, Indhu Rammohan, and other experts argue that these sites effectively prevent deaths and foster a sense of community. The study’s findings are particularly relevant given the surge in potent synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

The study underscores the profound impact supervised consumption sites can have on reducing opioid-related fatalities, offering a compelling case for their role in public health strategies against the opioid crisis.

Read the full Toronto Star article here.