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Supervised consumption site in Sudbury helps ensure users are ‘safe’

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Sudbury's supervised consumption site has been open for almost two months. Officials said it's a low-barrier environment to help people who use drugs feel comfortable, supported, connected and safe.

"Supervised consumption services are for anyone who uses drugs. If you use drugs every day, if you use drugs once in a blue moon, anyone can have an adverse reaction due to the extreme toxicity of the illicit supply," said Amber Fritz, managing supervisor of the site for Reseau Access.

A harm reduction registered nurse said the site offers a non-judgmental environment.

"They can use drugs safely and not have to worry about being judged or shamed, that the people who are taking care of them are not looking down on them," said Veronica Mensah, a harm reduction registered nurse.

“We just care about people being safe -- people being alive.”

The Reseau Access Network is the service provider at the site. At this point, it's not releasing numbers on how many people have used the site for supervised consumption.

Nor will it say if anyone has been saved in an overdose situation. Staff cites the need to build trust with people who want to be sure they are not being tracked.

Officials said more men use the service than women.

The site distributes harm reduction supplies and now has free HIV self-testing kits for people who access services at the site. 

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