It's hard to believe it's finally happened, but Manitoba's first ever formal overdose prevention site is open! We say first "formal," because people who use drugs have been preventing overdoses wherever drugs are consumed for as long as drugs have been consumed. What makes MOPS unique is that Health Canada has granted us an exemption to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. That means law enforcement cannot arrest people for using drugs on the premises of the site. The site itself consists of a recreational vehicle, which provides a safe, dry and warm place for people to inject drugs. Outside the vehicle there is a tent where people can smoke illicit drugs. This is important because inhalation is a method of consumption that has less serious harms associated with it, so making inhalation an option is part of harm reduction overall.
When people come to the MOPS, they can chat with the staff, get some harm reduction supplies (like needles, condoms, bubbles, tourniquets), a cup of coffee and also information about services that are available to them. We also have test strips that can detect the presence of deadly fentanyl and benzodiazepene. We are still fundraising for a mass-spectrometer that will allow people to test their drugs and find out exactly what they contain. You can support this by giving to our Fundrazr campaign!
The MOPS will be set up in the parking lot of 613 Main St Tuesday - Sunday, 11:45am - 5:15pm. From 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM, the MOPS RV will be curbside parked in various locations around the downtown core. To find the exact location on the day of, please call the MOPS cell: 204-914-8221.
The MOPS is an Overdose Prevention Site. We hope it will be a precursor to a full-service Supervised Consumption Site, which will have health care professionals on staff. For now, we have knowledgable peers on staff who are trained in overdose response — specifically, the administration of Narcan/naloxone, the drug that rapidly reverses opioid overdose. To learn more about Supervised Consumption Services and how they're an important part of responding to our communities' needs, visit SaferSites.ca.
IN THE NEWS
“Manitoba in line to set record on overdose deaths” Winnipeg Free Press, Friday, October 28, 2022
“Manitoba’s first formal overdose prevention site launches in Winnipeg” Global News, Sunday, October 30, 2022
“New mobile overdose prevention site up and running in Winnipeg will save lives, harm reduction advocates say” CBC Manitoba, Monday, October 31, 2022
Download a copy of the MOPS brochure