Consumption and Treatment Services

The Consumption and Treatment Services (CTS) site is located at 150 Duke Street West in Kitchener. The site is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week, including holidays. The site is operated by Sanguen Health Centre in partnership with Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services.

Consumption and Treatment Services is a health care service where people can use their own drugs under the supervision of medically trained workers. CTS operates under an exemption to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) and provides the following services:

  • Supervised consumption/overdose prevention services
  • Harm reduction supply distribution
  • Naloxone kit distribution
  • Wound care
  • Sharps disposal
  • Access to mental health supports, addiction services, primary care and social services on site or by referral

Consumption and Treatment Services is one part of a comprehensive harm reduction strategy that supports health equity and health as a human right. Research demonstrates that CTS services provide following benefits:

  1. Saves lives by reducing the number of fatal and non-fatal drug overdoses
  2. Reduces the spread of infectious diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C among people who use drugs
  3. Connects people who use drugs with mental health supports, addictions services, primary health care services, and social services like housing and other supports
  4. Creates a safer community by reducing drug use in public spaces and providing options for proper needle disposal

A review of the CTS operations for the year 2020 also demonstrated positive community impact in the Kitchener CTS site. Check the Consumption and Treatment Services Infographic 2020 Review.

For more information about Consumption and Treatment services, visit Sanguen Health Centre

CTS Data Dashboard

For mobile devices, view the CTS dashboard on Tableau

 

Community services available at CTS

The CTS partners with community agencies and programs offer the following services onsite. These services are a part of the strategy to provide wrap-around supports to those accessing the CTS.

Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) Clinic

  • The RAAM is a specialized medical clinic designed for people of all ages who are experiencing health issues related to their current substance use
  • RAAM is available on the 2nd floor of the CTS site Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for in person, virtual and walk-in appointments.
  • For more information and to schedule an appointment, check the RAAM clinic website
CTS resources

Check these resources for more information about the CTS in Kitchener:

CTS community engagement

Community engagement is an important component of Consumption and Treatment Services implementation.

The CTS Community Advisory Group meets to share updates about the site, help with planning to ensure mechanisms are in place to respond to any issues should they arise, and continue to proactively connect with stakeholders in proximity to the site to answer questions and prevent issues from occurring.  

Meeting Notes

CTS chronology
Date Information
October 2017-August 2018 Research identifies the need for Consumption and Treatment Services and where they should be located and 150 Duke Street West is one Kitchener possibility that meets all the criteria
August 14, 2018 150 Duke Street West is first approved by Regional Council as a possible Kitchener location
January 8, 2019 150 Duke Street West community consultation is approved by Regional Council
March 2019 Community consultation report shows strong support for 150 Duke Street West compared to other Kitchener locations
April 9, 2019 150 Duke Street West is recommended because of:
  • Large size – space for: wrap around supports, daytime rest spaces, possible expansion
  • Commercial appeal: can use service anonymously
  • Downtown core location
  • Community and Implementation Working Group support
April 9, 2019

Board of Health approves recommendation of submitting a Federal and Provincial application to have Consumption and Treatment Services at 150 Duke Street West.

April 15, 2019 Kitchener City Council approves moving forward with a Federal and Provincial application for Consumption and Treatment Services at 150 Duke Street West.
April 17, 2019 Board of Health ratifies decision to move forward with Consumption and Treatment Services at 150 Duke Street West in Kitchener. Public Health to proceed with applying for an exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act through Health Canada, and to the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care for funding.
June 5, 2019 Board of Health approves recommendation for the interim site to be located at 150 Duke Street West, and agreed to revise the 2019 budget to fund the one-time capital and ongoing operating costs for the interim site.
September 9, 2019 The lease negotiations for 150 Duke Street were completed and the lease was signed. The work on the interim site started and Council was advised at the Community Services Council meeting.
October 15, 2019 The interim site began operations on the second floor of 150 Duke Street West. On this same date, the Ministry of Health announced their approval of 150 Duke Street West as a provincially funded CTS. Renovations on the first floor for the full CTS site with on-site wrap-around services are underway and are expected to be complete by late summer 2020.
October 14, 2020 Permanent CTS site opens.
CTS and policing

The Waterloo Regional Police Service works in partnership with the Waterloo Region Integrated Drugs Strategy in support of a comprehensive four-pillar approach. This includes Prevention, Harm Reduction, Recovery and Rehabilitation, and Enforcement and Justice. The Waterloo Region Police Service is committed to a harm reduction approach to those addicted to drugs, while focusing enforcement efforts on individuals that manufacture, import, or traffic illegal drugs. Police confirm the following in relation to Consumption and Treatment Services in Waterloo Region:

  • Consumption and Treatment Services requires Federal Government approval, which is granted by the federal Minister of Health for legal exemption under Section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. This allows for the legal operation of these services.
  • Across Canada, Consumption and Treatment Services have not been shown to increase drug consumption or drug trafficking in the surrounding areas. It is anticipated, however, that these services will result in a decrease in overdoses, a decrease in unsafe practices like syringe sharing, and enhanced promotion of public order by decreasing public consumption and substance use-related litter.
  • The Waterloo Region Police Service supports the use of the Consumption and Treatment Services by those using it for its intended purposes. However, the laws with regard to criminal activity and public disorder, including in the immediate area of the Consumption and Treatment Service, will be enforced.
  • There is no “buffer zone” or “free zone” in regards to a Consumption and Treatment Service and the laws surrounding illegal drug use are enforced everywhere except the exempted area inside the site building. The Police service will continue to enforce the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act by targeting those who supply drugs or otherwise profit off those challenged by addiction. The Waterloo Regional Police Service will continue to work closely with the community and community partners to understand and address crime and disorder in the downtown core and the impacts, or potential impacts, of a Consumption and Treatment Service.

For more information, contact: Waterloo Regional Police Service at 519-570-9777

This information has been adapted from the Waterloo Region Police Service’s Consumption and Treatment Services information pamphlet. 

CTS in Cambridge

For more information about CTS in Cambridge, please visit the Consumption and Treatment Services in Cambridge webpage on the City of Cambridge website.

Frequently asked questions

General/Background information

What is Consumption and Treatment Services (CTS)? 

CTS is a health care service where people can use their own drugs under the supervision of medically trained workers. The CTS site operates under a Health Canada exemption to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) and provides the following services:

  • Supervised consumption/overdose prevention services
  • Harm reduction supply distribution
  • Naloxone kit distribution
  • Wound care
  • Sharps disposal
  • Access to mental health supports, addiction services, primary care and social services on site or by referral

How do CTS services work?

Clients arrive at a CTS location with their own drugs. They are given sterile consumption equipment and instruction on safer consumption practices. A medically trained professional supervises their consumption in a room dedicated for this purpose, and intervenes in the case of a medical emergency. Once the individual has consumed their drugs, they are directed to a waiting room where they continue to be observed for any negative reactions. They also receive information and referrals about other health and social supports and services at the building or elsewhere in the community.

Are CTS sites legal?

Yes. In Canada, the legal operation of CTS requires Federal Government approval, granted by the federal Minister of Health for legal exemption under section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA).

What benefits can a CTS site provide?

Research demonstrates that CTS services provide following benefits:

  1. Saves lives by reducing the number of fatal and non-fatal overdoses
  2. Reduces the spread of infectious diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C among people who use drugs
  3. Connects people who use drugs with mental health supports, addictions services, primary health care services, and social services like housing and other supports
  4. Creates a safer community by reducing substance use in public spaces and providing options for proper needle disposal

Will a CTS site encourage more drug use?

No, CTS sites do not promote drug use. People do not start injecting drugs because of the availability of CTS. There is no evidence that harm reduction services, including CTS, promote substance use. Evidence shows that the majority of people who use CTS have used substances for a long time, and that the establishment of CTS does not lead to an increase in first-time drug use. Research has also found that CTS sites do not cause people to relapse (e.g. start using drugs after a period of abstinence) or prevent people from stopping drug use altogether.

Would CTS sites increase crime in our neighbourhood?

CTS sites do not contribute to more crime. CTS sites are required to be located in neighbourhoods where there is a demonstrated need, and where substance use may already have an impact on the community as per Health Canada and Ministry of Health application requirements.

Are there other Consumption and Treatment Services locations?

Yes. The first CTS site opened 30 years ago in Switzerland. Today, there are more than 90 Consumption and Treatment Services worldwide, including in Europe, Australia and Canada. There are a number of sites across Canada.  Check Supervised Consumption Sites on the Health Canada website for more information. 

CTS locations in Waterloo Region

Where is the CTS located and how many do we have in the Waterloo Region?

There is one CTS site in the Waterloo Region located at 150 Duke Street West in Kitchener. This site is operated by Sanguen Health Centre in partnership with Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services.

Why does the Waterloo Region need a CTS site?

CTS sites are one part of four essential pillars of drug strategies operating in Ontario. For more information visit the Overdose data for Waterloo Region (OMARS) on the Waterloo Region Integrated Drug Strategy website. You may also review the CTS Feasibility Study that was completed in February 2018.

Where are CTS participants referred to for mental health or substance use treatment?

Current referrals in our community include withdrawal management, Ontario Addiction Treatment Centres (OATCs), etc. A full list of the types of treatment services available in the Waterloo Region can be found on the Waterloo Region Integrated Drug Strategy website.

How many people can the Kitchener CTS accommodate?

The Kitchener CTS site has a total of six consumption booths; four regular booths, one accessible booth and one private booth. Booth access may be limited to ensure physical distancing requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pre-pandemic, there were 800+ visits per month. Since March 2021, the visit numbers are beginning to return to pre-pandemic levels. This information can be found on the Consumption and Treatment Services Dashboard above. This dashboard is updated monthly.

How is the CTS site evaluated and where can I access data related to the site?

Consumption and Treatment Services Review review of the Kitchener site was completed in 2020. A full evaluation of the program is planned to occur in 2022. Data for the CTS site in Kitchener can be accessed on the Consumption and Treatment Services Dashboard above. 

Funding 

Are CTS sites funded by the federal government?

CTS sites are endorsed, but not funded by Health Canada. The federal government is supportive through the allowance of an exemption to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) required to operate a site.

Are CTS sites funded by the provincial government?

Yes. The Ontario Ministry of Health provides funding for CTS sites in the province. See the Consumption and Treatment Services Construction and Operation Update report from 2020 for more details on operational expenses. 

Are municipal governments responsible for funding CTS sites locally?

No, as specified above, CTS sites are funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health. 

Overdoses in Waterloo Region

Where can I find information about overdoses in the community?

The Waterloo Region Opioid Monitoring Report dashboard provides the number of overdose calls to Waterloo Region Paramedic Services over time. Because there are many overdoses that occur in the community where 9-1-1 is not called, this data underestimates the actual number of overdoses Region-wide. However, it is the best method to measure overall trends. This dashboard is updated monthly.

Where and when are overdoses occurring in the community?

The heat maps shared in the Waterloo Region Opioid Bulletins illustrate geographically, the areas most impacted by overdoses. Information related to times, days of the week and specific locations are not shared publically in order to protect the privacy of those impacted. Visit Overdose data for Waterloo Region (OMARS) on the Waterloo Region Integrated Drug Strategy website for current and past bulletins.

For general information about harm reduction, addiction or substance use, visit our Harm Reduction page.  

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