Public health officials to deliver ‘important update’ about supervised consumption in London

Londoners can expect new information about the city’s temporary overdose prevention site and two proposed permanent sites Thursday morning.

A media release from the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) says there will be a news conference in conjunction with the Regional HIV/AIDS Connection (RHAC) at 9:30 a.m., to provide an “important update.”

Medical officer of health Chris Mackie and RHAC executive director Brian Lester will deliver the announcement at the Middlesex County Building.

Last month, the provincial government said overdose prevention sites could continue to operate under a new “consumption and treatment” service model.

Though Premier Doug Ford previously criticized the harm-reduction approach, Health Minister Christine Elliott said a review of supervised consumption proved that the sites help to reduce drug-related deaths and lower the rate of public drug use.

Earlier in the year, the MLHU said it had struck a deal for consumption site on the ground floor of an affordable housing building at 241 Simcoe St. and at John Bellone’s Musical Instruments at 446 York.

London’s Board of Health approved the MLHU’s business case for two permanent sites and a mobile site in September. At the time, Mackie said the temporary site currently embedded inside the RHAC space at 186 King St. would have to move because the landlord didn’t want it to become a permanent fixture.

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