Toronto safe consumption site reversed 16 overdoses from suspected tainted drug supply, city says

A supervised injection site managed to reverse 16 overdoses within the space of just hours after a suspected case of tainted drugs left several people ill.

“That’s 16 potential lives saved,” the city’s board of health chair Joe Cressy said in a tweet. “In the face of a toxic drug supply, these sites continue to save lives.”

The city’s medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa confirmed Thursday there was a “rapid increase in overdoses in our supervised consumption service located in The Works” yesterday evening. Emergency crews were called to the Victoria Street site near Dundas Street East and Yonge Street amid reports of a contaminated drug supply in the city.

Eleven of the 16 cases required at least one dose of naloxone, de Villa said.

De Villa says a sample of the supply has since been sent to a laboratory at St. Michael’s Hospital for testing. When the results are back, the city will be able to issue clearer alerts around which substances should be avoided, she added.

“The events that unfolded yesterday clearly demonstrate the need for supervised consumption services in our community and the life-saving benefit they provide,” said de Villa.


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