Approve an Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) in Halifax
We at Women’s Wellness Within: An Organization Serving Criminalized Women ask that Premier Stephen McNeil approve the opening of an overdose prevention site (OPS) in Halifax.
Women’s Wellness Within is a Nova Scotia-based non-profit that provides volunteer support to criminalized women and trans individuals who are pregnant or parenting young children. We witness in our work the disproportionate burden of criminalization and the harsher treatment in the carceral system experienced by individuals who live with addiction.
Women’s Wellness Within is calling on Nova Scotia to support the implementation of an OPS in Halifax. Health Canada has approved the opening of overdose prevention and safe consumption sites across the country. Safe consumption models have been proven to be effective in reducing rates of overdose deaths and reduce the rates of infectious disease such as HIV and Hepatitis C, and give individuals who use substances a place to access much needed care and support.
Members of the academic community, lawyers, service providers, and the Halifax Regional Police have voiced their support for the OPS model in Nova Scotia, recognizing the evidence that this will benefit public health and safety.
The fact that community organizations can be granted a federal exemption to approve the implementation of an OPS does not excuse the provincial government from their responsibility to provide evidence-based health services and supports to their most vulnerable citizens.
Minister Delorey has failed to act on this matter, and the publicly funded health system is failing individuals with substance abuse issues in Nova Scotia. It is time to step up and support overdose prevention sites as a model in Nova Scotia that will advance the health, wellness, and safety of Nova Scotians.
Our partners at Mainline/HANDSUP/Direction 180 have asked us to join the campaign in support of an OPS in Halifax. We sent this letter to Premier McNeil (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please feel free to use the content of this letter to send your own messages of support, and if possible, put them on letterhead from your businesses/organizations.