Study finds Greater Sudbury would benefit from supervised consumption services

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The final report (PDF, 2 MB) of the Supervised Consumption Services Needs Assessment and Feasibility Study was released today, following 11 months of extensive community consultation and data analysis. The Study concluded that Greater Sudbury would benefit from supervised consumption services (SCS) and that these services would be a feasible strategy for the City of Greater Sudbury to address local substance use.

As co-chairs of Greater Sudbury’s Community Drug Strategy (CDS) Executive Committee, Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Penny Sutcliffe and Greater Sudbury Police Services Chief, Paul Pedersen, announced their support for the Study findings and for the CDS to engage in the next steps to establish supervised consumption services in Greater Sudbury.

“The study is a critical step in determining how consumption services could help put the brakes on the significant and growing health harms related to substance use in the City. It combines the voices of our community along with careful data analysis and ensures that those most affected by substance use are heard,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer, Public Health Sudbury & Districts. “I would like to thank everyone for contributing to inform a comprehensive approach to harm reduction that is grounded in compassion and evidence. The findings are even more timely given the numerous reports from across Canada that show the opioid crisis has intensified through the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Sutcliffe.

“The findings of the study indicate that the rates of illicit drug use continue to be higher in Greater Sudbury than those for Ontario overall and that supervised consumption services could form part of our comprehensive strategy to address substance use in our community,” said Chief Paul Pedersen, Greater Sudbury Police Service. “The Community Drug Strategy will continue to work on appropriate and effective solutions tailored for our community,” said Chief Pedersen.

The Needs Assessment and Feasibility Study is a required step in the request for a federal exemption under Health Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The CDS will now seek a letter of support from Greater Sudbury City Council, also required for the provincial approval processes.

Over 35 individuals affiliated with the study took part in a facilitated session to validate its findings. They also discussed the outstanding work to further determine location of services, delivery model, and resources. These deliberations will be informed by the study findings and further consultation, with partners, community members, and persons with lived experience.

In Ontario, supervised consumption services are referred to as Consumption and Treatment Services and there is an extensive application process to ensure they operate safely and legally. Supervised consumption services are part of a multi-pronged approach to address the harms to substance use. The CDS continues to implement best practices based on its four foundational pillars, harm reduction, health promotion, treatment and enforcement and justice.

To read the report and for more information on substance use, please visit or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200, ext. 278 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).

This item was last modified on June 15, 2020