Minister of Health and Social Services Tracy-Anne McPhee has issued the following statement:
“Today marks the one-year anniversary of the opening of the Yukon’s Supervised Consumption Site.
“This new facility in Whitehorse represents an important step in our government’s work to address the problematic substance use through harm reduction initiatives and a public health approach.
“The Supervised Consumption Site is a medically supervised facility where people can use drugs in a controlled environment, and where they can connect with health and social services like substance use treatment, housing and employment assistance.
“I thank our community partner Blood Ties Four Directions for their outstanding work in helping establish and operate the Supervised Consumption Site, in close collaboration with Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services. Together they bring significant experience and expertise to support people who use substances, and their incredibly important work not only saves lives but also improves the health and wellbeing of people who use substances.
“Since opening, we have improved the site by making more methods of drug consumption available including inhalation, which has led to a substantial increase in use of the site and a decrease in risk.
"Last month alone, there were 350 visits to the Supervised Consumption Site, and there have been 1,124 visits since the site opened. Each and every visit is a potential drug poisoning prevented and an opportunity to provide support for someone who needs help managing their substance use.
“The Substance Use Health Emergency we face is a territory-wide challenge and cannot be solved alone. We will continue to work with health system partners to improve mental wellness, reduce suffering and save lives. Thank you to all of our community partners who continue to work to respond to the Substance Use Health Emergency, including the Council of Yukon First Nations, the RCMP, Yukon Hospitals, First Nations, communities and other levels of government.
“If you are thinking of changing or managing your opioid use, the Opioid Treatment Services can help, call 867-668-2552. Rapid Access Counselling is also available to all Yukoners. Call 867-456-3838 to make a counselling appointment within 72 hours. If you are planning on using alone, please call the National Opioid Response Service at 1-888-688-6677. This anonymous service will have someone stay on the phone with you so you can decrease the risk while using substances.”
The Supervised Consumption Site is an element of the Confidence and Supply Agreement and supported by both the Yukon Liberal government and the Yukon NDP Caucus.
MLA for Vuntut Gwitchin and Yukon NDP Critic for Health and Social Services Annie Blake has issued the following statement:
“In the one year since the Supervised Consumption Site was created, countless Yukoners have accessed the site for support and community. Thanks to the hard work of Blood Ties Four Directions, community members who use substances have a safe, comfortable space to seek the care, support and dignity that they deserve. We know that harm reduction saves lives, and it will continue to for years to come.”