What is the Supervised Consumption Services Feasibility Study?

The Supervised Consumption Services Feasibility Study is being conducted to determine if supervised consumption services are needed in Waterloo Region. Supervised consumption services are being considered because research shows they:

  • Prevent fatal overdoses

  • Help people access treatment for substance use and other health and social services

  • Reduce sharing of needles and the spread of blood-borne infections including HIV and hepatitis C

  • Reduce drug use in public areas

  • Reduce improper disposal of needles in public places

To legally operate a supervised consumption service, an exemption to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act must be received by the Federal Minister of Health. An application for an exemption must include information to support the need for supervised consumption services and how they will be operated.

The purpose of the study 

The purpose of this study is to:

  • Determine the demand for supervised consumption services in Waterloo Region.
  • Determine the extent to which supervised consumption services are seen as helpful to Waterloo Region by the broader community.
  • Uncover any concerns the community may have about supervised consumption services being implemented in Waterloo Region.
  • Determine the extent to which supervised consumption services are judged as suitable, satisfying, or attractive to program deliverers and intended users.
  • Determine the extent to which supervised consumption services can be integrated within existing harm reduction services in Waterloo Region.
  • Determine the extent to which harm reduction services in Waterloo Region can be enhanced to provide supervised consumption services.
  • Determine potential locations for supervised consumption services that are accessible to the intended users and ensure safety for staff, intended clients, and neighbourhood residents and business owners.

Study Timeline 

What is the timeline for the project?

  • Waterloo Region Supervised Injection Services Feasibility Study – Completed February 2018
  • Public Feedback Sessions – Completed March/April 2018
  • Report to Community Services Committee: Phase 2A Results – June 19th, 2018

Who is involved? 

A Supervised Consumption Services Feasibility Work Group was formed to provide expert advice on the approach to explore supervised consumption services in the Waterloo Region. Group members were recruited from a variety of backgrounds and professions, including:

  • Public Health staff
  • Harm reduction service providers
  • Community service providers
  • Housing representatives
  • Waterloo Regional Police Services
  • Community members with lived experience

For information or questions about the feasibility study, please contact:

Grace Bermingham, Manager, Information, Planning and Harm Reduction, Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services; Gbermingham@regionofwaterloo.ca

Project Updates 

For the most recent updates and news on the Feasibility Study, please visit Region of Waterloo Public Health's Supervised Consumption Services webpage.



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