Fourcast and the community partners involved in Peterborough’s Consumption and Treatment Services (CTS) site at 220 Simcoe Street have released a “community impact report” providing an update on the site’s first three months of operation.
The CTS site provides a safe and clean space for people to consume pre-obtained drugs — the CTS site does not provide drugs — under the supervision of health professionals, with staff always on hand to respond to medical emergencies. Along with host agency Fourcast, the other community partners for the CTS are PARN, Peterborough County-City Paramedics, and the Peterborough 360 Degree Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic, with on-site services provided by PARN Harm Reduction Works and the Mobile Support Overdose Response Team (MSORT).
Service users are also provided with sterile consumption supplies, education on safer consumption practices, basic medical services, and referrals to drug treatment, housing, and other social services.
Since opening on June 13, Peterborough’s CTS site has had 149 unique registered users. In July, there were 31 average daily visits, with 91 per cent of users between the ages of 20 and 49, with 48 per cent using the synthetic opioid fentanyl.
The number of visits to the CTS site has increased significantly since its opening, with 151 visits in June, 489 in July, and 944 in August, for a total of 1,584 visits.
During July, there were nine overdose incidents at the CTS, with no deaths.
The community impact report also includes comments from nearby organizations and a business on the positive effect of the CTS site to date.
“I’ve certainly noticed a decline in public use and discarded needles in and around the downtown,” says Terry Guiel, executive director of the Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area. “I’ve noticed nothing that could be tied to the site in any negative way. I haven’t received one call or email in association with the CTS site and I’ve noticed a great improvement in the downtown in the last several weeks.”
“I have to admit that there is something that has changed and I believe I can attribute a good portion of that to the CTS site,” he adds. “It certainly has not had any of the overdramatic issues that some people thought would occur. It’s good to see these early signs that it is having a positive impact.”
“From Wild Rock’s perspective, the biggest tangible change that our staff have seen is that our back parking lot is cleaner,” says Tori Silvera, general manager of Wild Rock Outfitters. “We’ve found less than ten needles since the end of June. This is a huge reduction as compared to pre-CTS. It means our staff don’t have to put themselves at risk and pick them up … It’s gratifying to know that
the CTS is working.
“Since the CTS opened, we’ve noticed a big drop in drug-related emergencies in and around the library,” says Mark Stewart, library services manager with the Peterborough Public Library. “Prior to the opening of the CTS, drug poisonings were a common occurrence at the library, now they happen rarely. The library staff is in strong support of the CTS and is grateful to have this community resource close by.”
“Some transit staff have noticed a quicker response time to suspected overdoses in the terminal/parking garage areas that may be the result of the clinic having a paramedic on site,” says Laurie Stratton, transit manager with the City of Peterborough.
“When someone is outside our office and non-responsive, our staff have been able to visit the CTS and ask for help with the situation,” says Tegan Moss, executive director of Peterborough GreenUP. “This has happened three times and there’s always been a prompt and helpful response. While the CTS staff made it clear that when they are busy they may not be able to help, so far they have been able to resolve our issues effectively and provide support to people who are struggling. Since the CTS opened, our staff now know where to go for help and we have not had to call the police, which is new.”
A copy of the Community Impact Report is provided below.
PDF: Community Impact Report CTS – Sept 2022
Community Impact Report CTS Sept 2022