By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Harm reduction advocates are looking to have safe injection sites in Regina (Knox, 2017). Many of them or make-shift in places such as homes and alleyways. Saskatchewan, as a province in Canada, has the highest per capita opioid overdose hospitalization rate.

The argument from the group making the calls is that the safe injection sites provide a space that is stigma free. Some have praised the efforts but state more data is needed on them.

In other words, it is a statement about the praiseworthy or laudable nature of the safe injection sites that are popping up in houses and alleyways because they help and afflicted minority population, such as youths or addicts

But the evidence is not necessarily in in terms of the benefits of pop up safe injection sites as opposed to stable ones.

Executive Director for Carmichael Outreach, Cora Gajari, said, “I really applaud the efforts of the people who set up in front of city hall. In terms of safe injection sites, though, I don’t know that we really have enough evidence to prove that we need them here in Regina.” (Ibid.)

“There’s always this tendency to be reactive and see what others are doing, bide our time. I think perhaps it’s the place of Regina to be a leader in the province to get something like this started,” Councillor Andrew Stevens said (CBC News, 2017).

The President and Co-Founder of the White Pony Lodge, Shawna Oochoo, estimates between 80 and 100 needles are picked up by volunteers per month by the White Pony Lodge.

Stevens continued, “I can’t just see us sitting around and waiting, I think we need to get ahead of this.”

In the past, in 2016, the freezes on harm reduction efforts have coincided – though correlation is not causation – with an increase of HIV rates (Fraser, 2016).

Reference

CBC News. (2017, October 9). Time to talk about supervised injection sites in Regina, councillor says. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/supervised-injection-regina-1.4346191.

Fraser, D.C. (2016, June 16). Sask. HIV rate goes up as harm-reduction expansion remains on hold. Retrieved from http://leaderpost.com/news/politics/sask-hiv-rate-goes-up-as-harm-reduction-expansion-remains-on-hold.

Knox, J. (2017, October 9). Harm-reduction advocates call for safe injection sites in Regina. Retrieved from https://globalnews.ca/news/3793429/harm-reduction-advocates-call-for-safe-injection-sites-in-regina/.

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