Today, August 31st, is International Overdose Awareness Day. Canada is in the middle of an opioid epidemic and the federal government has failed to take action on addressing and finding solutions to this health crisis, exacerbating the situation even more. In Ontario, their Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott have put a moratorium on the opening of new overdose prevention sites (OPS), ignoring the scientific evidence that OPS and supervised consumption sites (SCS) save lives.
The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network has written an open letter to Premier Ford and Minister Elliott about the need to include the voices of people who use drugs and healthcare professionals in decisions made about addiction services. The Canadian AIDS Society is proud to be one of the signatories for this letter and will continue to advocate for OPS and SCS as vital health services that play an essential role in reducing both opioid deaths and the transmission of blood borne infections like HIV and Hepatitis C.