Health Canada OKs safe drug consumption site for AIDS Saskatoon

SASKATOON — Health Canada has granted AIDS Saskatoon an exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act so that it can open a safe consumption site.

Health Canada's website says the approval was effective as of July 31 and users would be allowed to take illicit drugs through inhalation, injection, nasally or orally.

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AIDS Saskatoon plans to move to a new location this fall and add the site to its services.

It would be the first safe consumption site in the province.

The group says it would be staffed with community health workers who could provide support and information to drug users about primary health care, social services, housing and addictions programs.

Mayor Charlie Clark said in February the city would provide support.

A recent Saskatoon Police Services report called for federal and provincial funding to ensure enough officers would be available for the opening of the site so as to prevent social and criminal issues.

"We have been working towards this for the past number of years and, given the increase in fentanyl distribution, crystal meth usage and consumption of drugs in public spaces, we feel that the time is now for a safe consumption site," AIDS Saskatoon's executive director Jason Mercredi said in a news release last winter. (CTV Saskatoon)

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