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Sudbury supervised consumption site closes indefinitely


Efforts to save The Spot have been unsuccessful – Sudbury’s supervised consumption site will close at the end of the day on Friday.

Amber Fritz, the site manager for Sudbury's supervised consumption, The Spot. March 28, 2024. (Alana Everson/CTV News Northern Ontario)

“It's an absolute tragedy that this community is losing this space,” said Amber Fritz, the supervised consumption site's manager.

“Folks who access the service here are absolutely devastated.”

The manager said the site had been funded by the city since it opened at the end of September 2022 until the end of last year and for the past few months by private donors while awaiting provincial funding.

“This is not just a Sudbury issue. This is an Ontario issue,” said Fritz.

“People who use drugs have the right to dignified healthcare and that’s what supervised consumption services are. We know that they save lives. We know that they save costs to the healthcare system. We know that they prevent Hepatitis C and HIV.”

The Reseau Access Network is the service provider for the supervised consumption site and officials with the non-profit agency have confirmed they have also lost another program offering peer-based wellness on the streets after funding from Health Canada ran out.

“Be trained on best practices for overdose response, they become street responders. They become referral networks out in the community,” said Heidi Eisenhauer, the executive director of Reseau Access Network.

“They are our access to members in community we would never have reached.”

Heidi Eisenhauer, the executive director of Reseau Access Network. March 28, 2024. (Alana Everson/CTV News Northern Ontario)

Over at The Spot, the manager said delays in provincial funding to keep safe consumption sites open will cost lives.

“We have heard the excuse of COVID delaying things. We have heard the excuse of this review delaying things,” said Fritz.

“I am not sure how much longer we are expected to wait or any community is because delays equal death – full stop.”

The Ministry of Health told CTV News that the Supervised Consumption Site in Sudbury was never under provincial jurisdiction but confirmed all funding applications are currently under review.

Officials with The Spot said since the supervised consumption site opened in the city there have been over 3,000 supervised consumptions and 30 overdoses have been reversed without the help of 911 or emergency medical services – calling the site a place of safety, connection and community. Top Stories

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