Santé Montréal



Positive assessment after 4 1/2 months of operation

Along with the news of the latest SIS opening at Spectre de rue, the CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l'Île-de-Montréal is taking the opportunity to release an assessment of the three SIS that have been in operation. From 19 June to 31 October 2017, over 550 people totalling 6200 visits utilized SIS at the Cactus and Dopamine fixed sites, as well as at L'Anonyme, the mobile unit. SIS attendance has grown since the sites opened. In July, the first full month of operation, 1190 visits were recorded; in September, there were 1840 visits. A slight decline in October (1400 visits) reflects the usual seasonal variation observed at centres where sterile injection equipment is distributed.

Dr. Richard Massé, Regional Director of Public Health at CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l'Île-de-Montréal, speaks positively about the first months of SIS operations. “User profile, growing  attendance numbers, requests for counselling services, referrals or support all  point to the validity of Montréal’s SIS program,” says Dr. Massé. The objectives have been met, especially the goal of providing safe spaces in the community where users feel welcomed and are comfortable asking for support or referrals to health services that treat opioid dependence. 

People who use SIS 

A profile of SIS users shows that the target group has been reached:

  • Most (72%) have been injecting for more than 5 years
  • About 1 in 2 users injects every day
  • Before they first came to SIS, half of users injected most often in public places



SIS attendance

Overall, although SIS have not reached full capacity, new visits are recorded every month. The data also highlight the mobile unit’s complementary role:

  • Almost two-thirds of users have been to an SIS at least twice
  • A third have been 6 times or more
  • About 20% of people who have registered (107 of 554) have been to more than one SIS
  • Most (78%) have been to the SIS mobile unit in addition to a fixed site
  • In September and October, 5% of visits were first-time service users.



Management of injection-related complications 

SIS are effective. Since they opened, there have been 11 emergency interventions:

  • Ventilation or oxygen administration (11 times)
  • Naloxone administration by a nurse (4 times)
  • Call to 911 (5 times)
  • Ambulance transportation (1 time)



Services other than supervised injection: 9600 interventions

Almost half of visits to SIS involved at least one intervention:

  • 60% by community organization workers
  • 35% by nurses
  • 5% by peers



Overall, interventions related to the following:

  • Reduction of health risks (3316 interventions)
  • Living conditions and environment (2742 interventions)
  • Mental health (2373 interventions)
  • Physical health (619 interventions)



Main reasons for consultations with nurses

  • Soft-tissue infections (abscesses, cellulitis, wounds)
  • Drug addiction
  • Cuts and scratches


Read the media release 

Source: CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal


For more information: Supervised Injection Services


A fourth site opens in Montréal

Read the media release (in French only)

Source: Office of the Minister for Rehabilitation, Youth Protection, Public Health and Healthy Living

Public, Health A-Z, Men's Health, Women's Health, Prevention, News, Professionnel, Communiqués, Direction de santé publique, CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal

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Last Update : 01 July 2020