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Canada’s life-saving supervised consumption services could be in jeopardy

By Cécile Kazatchkine and Janet-Butler McPhee       

Service providers and their clients are at risk of criminalization unless there is a federal exemption that protects them from prosecution for drug possession.

Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor can and should immediately issue five-year exemptions to new and existing services, write Cécile Kazatchkine and Janet-Butler McPhee of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Supervised consumption and overdose prevention sites save lives by allowing people to use drugs safely under the supervision of trained volunteers and staff. This should be reason enough for any government to take bold, rapid action to scale up access to these services, especially as Canada is now fully immersed in an opioid overdose crisis—fuelled by a contaminated drug supply—that is killing at an alarming rate.

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