Last week, the Middlesex-London Board of Health unanimously voted to request renewal of the provincial approval for the temporary overdose prevention site at 186 King St. Since it opened its doors in February of this year, more than 1,500 people have used the service.

The provincial approval of the temporary overdose prevention site expires on 15 Aug. Please add your name to the petition to show your support for renewing this critical health service in our community.

As stated in the staff report to the MLHU board:

"MOHLTC funding and the temporary exemption for TOPS is set to expire on August 15, 2018. To date, the service has received over 4000 client visits (over 1500 unique clients), reversed several overdoses, and referred 91 clients to other services such as addictions treatment, mental health counselling, and housing."

More than 4,700 injections have occurred in a supervised setting rather than in alleys, parks and other public places. Six overdoses have been reversed.

Not renewing the temporary overdose prevention site, while we are in the middle of a public health emergency, would be a terrible mistake that would harm some of the most vulnerable people living in London. This should not be a partisan issue. Politics should not get in the way of public health.

As our public health unit has reported, we have "multiple, overlapping drug-related crises" in our city. You can learn more about these crises here:

Supervised consumption services have been shown to reduce overdose deaths and reduce the spread of infectious diseases. The health unit states that the main goals of a supervised consumption service are:

  1. To reduce the spread of infectious diseases (HIV and hepatitis C);
  2. To reduce the number of drug overdose deaths;
  3. To bring people who inject drugs into contact with other health and social and treatment services; and,
  4. To reduce issues in the community such as drug use in public places, and discarded needles.

You can learn more about supervised consumption services here:

Supervised consumption services are a proven, effective way of keeping people alive and reducing the harms from injection drug use.

If you support the renewal of the temporary overdose prevention site at 186 King St, please add your name to this petition. I will send it to Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Christine Elliott and all four local London MPPs: Teresa Armstrong, Terence Kernaghan, Peggy Sattler and Jeff Yurek.

Background from the MLHU staff report

"The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) and the Regional HIV/AIDS Connection (RHAC) submitted the first application for the Temporary Overdose Prevention Site (TOPS) on January 12, 2018. On January 19, in response to this application, the Ontario government approved one-time funding in the amount of $130,700 to establish Ontario’s first sanctioned TOPS. The TOPS site opened on February 12, 2018, and funding is approved until August 15, 2018.

"The TOPS has provided necessary health services to clients in a manner that is both accessible and free from stigma. This has helped reduce the number of overdose deaths and infectious diseases impacting some of Ontario’s most vulnerable and marginalized populations. There have been 4,791 supervised injections at the TOPS between February 12 and June 30, 2018. The site averages 55 visits per weekday and 30 visits per day on weekends, with a peak of 78 client visits in one day. Hydromorphone has been the most common drug reported to have been used at TOPS, followed by crystal methamphetamine, “unspecified opioid,” “other,fentanyl, and heroin. There have been six overdoses during this time, of which five were treated with oxygen alone, while one client required administration of naloxone. There have been no overdose deaths in or around the site.

"The aftercare room is where in-kind community organizations provide client support and links to services. This model has been effective in providing referrals to these services. This has included: 31 referrals to Addiction Services Thames Valley; 4 for methadone treatment; 20 to the London CAReS Housing Team; 10 to the Centre of Hope (Housing Stability or Shelter); 2 to the Unity Project shelter; 10 to the London InterCommunity Health Centre; 4 to the Hepatitis C Team; 3 to the MLHU Sexual Health Clinic; 3 to the RHAC HIV Team; and 7 for care in hospitals."

Goal: 500 signatures

Will you sign?

Showing 413 reactions

  • Kristin Hunter
    signed 2018-08-08 07:45:58 -0400
  • Hafsah Moulvi
    signed via 2018-08-08 05:01:34 -0400
    Hafsah Moulvi
  • Nicole Vella
    signed via 2018-08-07 22:30:51 -0400
  • Sheryl Rooth
    signed via 2018-08-07 22:28:10 -0400
    Part of my job is creating death notices for clients who have overdosed. I’d like to not have to do this any longer. Supervised consumption sites make a difference.
  • Melissa Knott
    signed via 2018-08-07 22:20:32 -0400
  • Jennepher Cahill
    signed via 2018-08-07 21:30:49 -0400
  • Bill Downie
    signed 2018-08-07 21:02:31 -0400
    Bill Downie
  • Melanie O'Brien
    signed 2018-08-07 20:47:02 -0400
    Harm reduction saves lives. This should not be a partisan issue, this is a caring for your fellow human being responsibility.
  • Cari Ramsey
    signed via 2018-08-07 20:21:45 -0400
  • Alison Petrovich
    signed via 2018-08-07 20:17:48 -0400
  • Alexander Wray
    signed via 2018-08-07 20:08:00 -0400
  • Kevin May
    signed 2018-08-07 19:36:19 -0400
  • Jo-Anne Vandierendonck
    signed via 2018-08-07 18:29:55 -0400
  • Kenn Quayle
    signed via 2018-08-07 18:21:34 -0400
    Harm reduction saves lives! There is currently an overdose crisis going on in this country – it is the responsibility of elected politicians and health authorities to make available the services necessary to reduce and stop this. Access to clean equipment for injectors, and the place and means to use safely is a bare minimum. We must also put an end to stigma and prohibition, and make a clean, save, medical grade drugs available in order to counter the severely tainted illicit drug supply. Anything less in the face of the fentanyl crisis is tantamount to genocide!
  • Menno Meijer
    signed 2018-08-07 17:24:47 -0400
  • Margaret Mayer
    signed via 2018-08-07 16:49:15 -0400
    Margaret Mayer
  • Jarad Fisher
    signed via 2018-08-07 16:18:21 -0400
  • Carol Stewart
    signed 2018-08-07 16:08:07 -0400
  • Jeff Schlemmer
    signed 2018-08-07 15:42:42 -0400
  • Xuemei Jiang
    signed 2018-08-07 14:47:39 -0400
  • Shane Clarke
    signed 2018-08-07 14:17:14 -0400
    Shane Clarke
  • Shelley Carr
    signed via 2018-08-07 13:32:29 -0400
    I want overdose deaths to stop. Please do the right thing and support temporary and permanent overdose sites in London and Ontario.
  • Gary Manley
    signed 2018-08-07 13:23:50 -0400
    This topic needs to be taught in school so children know the problems related to drug use.
  • Arielle Kayabaga
    signed 2018-08-07 13:19:00 -0400
    I believe that the provincial government should approve the temporary overdose prevention site renewal which is due to expire on 15 Aug.
  • Annette Swalwell
    signed via 2018-08-07 13:17:41 -0400
  • Shawn Lewis
    signed 2018-08-07 12:51:10 -0400
  • Jane Berardini
    signed via 2018-08-07 12:44:13 -0400
  • Matthew Rowlinson
    signed via 2018-08-07 12:16:56 -0400
  • Bernard Bertrand
    signed via 2018-08-07 11:58:18 -0400
    The first DCR opened in 1986 in Switzerland and today there are more than 100 DCRs in the world and no overdose deaths. Scientific people around the world demonstrate this!!
  • Chris Moss
    signed via 2018-08-07 11:09:12 -0400