A long day for Woodstock City Council, as they heard a variety of opinions regarding the potential Consumption Treatment Site. Over 20 people spoke, and the meeting lasted close to the 4 hour mark.
WOODSTOCK - Many different opinions were heard at City Council Chambers.
This afternoon, 23 delegations took to the podium to voice their thoughts regarding a potential Safe Consumption Treatment Site in Woodstock. There were arguments for and against the site, and the meeting lasted about four hours. You can watch the full meeting online here.
Dr. Ninh Tran, the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Southwestern Public Health started the meeting with a 20 minute presentation. He said the site would have more than just a consumption component.
"Harm reduction is important not only to coordinate treatment, but we also want to keep people alive as long as possible. People are at different parts of their journey, if they don't make it alive when they are able to undergo treatment, you can't reverse a death."
Tran added, that a Consumption Treatment Site would offer anyone using the services the access to tools, which would knock down potential barriers for further treatment.
Tran says a site would provide a safe place, and minimize the amount of people using drugs at their homes, or public spaces.
"Overdoses are still going to happen, but it is going to be responded to more timely so that we can save a lot more lives."
The meeting also included delegations from the Canadian Mental Health Association, Oxford Community Health Centre, Oxford Mental Health and United Way Oxford.
According to a press release from the city, 15 residents spoke out against the idea of having a site in Woodstock. Most of them were concerned that these sites enable drug use and believed there should be more of a focus on mental health support and addiction treatment. Christine Sawyer was one of the delegates who spoke out against the sites and she created an online petition, which has received over 800 signatures.
Council responded with questions and statements to all of the delegations, with the hopes of gaining more information, as they will have a long road ahead to determine whether or not a Consumption Treatment Site should be brought to the city. If council decides to take further action on the matter, it will be brought forward at a future City Council meeting.