February – Consumption and Treatment Service Announcement

Written by Comms Team, February 25, 2022

RE: Announcement of Provincial CTS Funding, February 25, 2022

Good morning,

On behalf of Peterborough Public Health, our Board Chair Mayor Andy Mitchell and our board, our leadership team and the family and community health team working on the drug poisoning overdose crisis, I want to thank you for joining us for this announcement. Today marks a significant milestone in Peterborough, and a critical step forward in our efforts to respond to the drug poisoning crisis in our region through a compassionate, comprehensive, harm reduction approach.

Supervised consumption services, or Consumption and Treatment Service sites, are an evidenced-based response the drug poisoning crisis that have been proven to reduce harm, promote health, and support the wellbeing of people who use drugs and the communities in which they are located. Today’s announcement is the result of many years of work by tremendous partners working together to save lives in this community, and I am so grateful to hear the good news of support from MPP Smith and our provincial government. 

Specifically, I want to recognize and thank the work of Donna Rogers, Suzanne Galloway, Kim Dolan, Kerri Kightley, Jessica Penner, Carolyn King, Charles Shamess, Peter Williams, Dylan DeMarsh, Emily Jones, Evan Brockest, Dr Rosana Salvaterra, Deanna Vandenbroek, Jane Mark, Chris Smith, Chris Jardin, other community members who were consulted and provided input through the process, who donated to support renovations through the Light the Way Campaign, and everyone else whose passionate commitment to saving lives has driven this effort and brought us here today.

Many members of our community know the impact that the drug poisoning crisis is having first hand. For those who are personally affected by this crisis, which I would argue now includes most of us, there is a clear understanding that this service is not only urgently needed for our community, but also overdue. We know that the harms related to substance use in our community are not new, but they have been worsening over the past decade and accelerated to a crisis level throughout the pandemic to the point where we now lose nearly one life every week. We also know that the vast majority of these deaths are accidental, and, in most cases, preventable. This CTS will save lives, but it alone will not be enough. Our work on the crisis does not end today.

I want to finish by speaking to people who use drugs, their family, and friends, who are most directly impacted by this crisis. We see your pain, we see your losses. Every death and disability, every week, is a child, is a parent, is a partner, is a sibling, is a best friend. Our work on the crisis does not end today.

Do not be patient, demand more.

Thank you

Dr. Thomas Piggott, MD MSc CCFP FRCPC
Medical Officer of Health and CEO