The Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l’Outaouais, in partnership with the Centre d’intervention en toxicomanie de l’Outaouais (CIPTO) and the BRAS Outaouais, announced yesterday the creation of a temporary overdose prevention center in the region. During the press conference, the CISSS de l’Outaouais clarified that "the COVID-19 pandemic is causing significant upheavals in consumption habits. Since May, we have observed a higher number of deaths in the Outaouais possibly due to overdoses. The temporary overdose prevention center will be located in a tent in downtown Gatineau near Gîte Ami and will be open 7 days a week from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. During opening hours, two representative will be present to supervise, advise and support users of the site. Dr. Camille Paquette, a specialist in public health and preventive medicine, explained the reasons and the functioning of the site.
The overdose prevention center aims to create a safe environment where people can legally consume psychoactive substances under the supervision of trained responders. The primary objective is to prevent deaths with immediately intervention in the event of an overdose. The CISSS de l’Outaouais is responsible for ensuring compliance with the conditions issued by Health Canada for the operation of the center. It was also clarified yesterday that the CISSS de l’Outaouais supports the other partners in the implementation and operation of the service and is working closely with the City of Gatineau and the Gatineau police to facilitate the center’s proper functioning.