Hamilton city councillors will get a report on supervised injection sites for opioid users sooner and more cheaply, than anticipated.
Since Mayor Fred Eisenberger’s January summit on the opioid crisis, the Federal government has changed the rules about supervised injection sites. So the public health study on whether they’re needed in Hamilton will cost $30 000 less and will now be finished by the end of the year.
Dr. Jessica Hopkins says Public Heath has been working on an education campaign to get people who use opioids to do so safely. Use it with a friend, and in case of overdose, call 911, do CPR and administer the anti-overdose drug Naloxone. The city has also been working to increase access to Naloxone so drug users can carry it with them.
Over the past month the city has been publishing the results of its opioid monitoring on its website, including weekly data on 911 calls, ER visits and Naloxone kit distribution. However, there have been glitches. When paramedics updated the software they use, the flow of information was interrupted.
Dr. Hopkins says the emergency room data has helped researchers see what is actually happening in Hamilton. She says there has not been a dramatic spike in opioid deaths recently, but the number of those deaths has doubled over the past 10 years.