AMHO Submission: What the evidence and the Ontario experience tells us about supervised consumption services
September 6, 2018
Each day, Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO)’s 220 members see firsthand the impact that problematic substance use and addiction, including opioid use, have on individuals, families and communities. They also see how the appropriate treatment, services and supports can help people find a path to healthier living.
In response to the government’s review of the evidence about supervised consumption services, AMHO prepared a submission drawing on the expertise from those who work everyday with Ontarians to get people the help and supports they need.
Our submission provides an overview of the effectiveness of supervised consumption services and overdose prevention sites, drawing on the evidence from both Ontario’s direct experience, as well as current research and evidence, with a focus on four key outcome areas:
- Connections to treatment and improvements in substance use behaviour and health outcomes
- Preventing overdose and overdose deaths
- Improving community safety and reducing public use
- Preventing transmission of infectious diseases
The conclusion arising from our overview is clear: these services save lives, and help connect people who use opioids and other substances with addictions and healthcare treatment. Supervised consumption services are an important part of the continuum of mental health and addiction treatment, services and supports. We recommend the minister allow the overdose prevention sites (OPSs) that have already been approved to open immediately, and facilitate a coordinated, responsive application process for continuing supervised consumption services, based on evidence of local need.