Health News For South West

 Share  |  Email  |  Print

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Early Response Shows Use and Acceptance of London TOPS Continue to Rise

Based on early indicators, London’s new Temporary Overdose Prevention Site (TOPS) is well accepted by all parties, and beginning to have an impact on the local opioid drug crisis. Since opening its doors less than a month ago, the TOPS has seen a steadily increasing number of clients. From just four clients the first day, to 44 on Tuesday, February 27th, clients are gaining confidence and trust in the facility and its staff.

London’s TOPS, the first of its kind in Ontario, shares space with Regional HIV/AIDS Connection, one of the sites of the Counterpoint Needle and Syringe Program, which is already familiar for people who inject drugs. Staff members have been pleased with the way that the site has been operating and note that there have been no incidents or overdoses at the King Street location since it opened.

“We’ve seen clients providing peer-to-peer feedback and support when they’re at the TOPS, even referring to our code of conduct with fellow clients when they observe behavior that could have a negative impact on the site,” says Sonja Burke, Director of Counterpoint Harm Reduction Services, at Regional HIV/AIDS Connection. “Some of our clients were unsure about the TOPS initially, but now that they’re becoming more familiar with our team and the process here, the level of trust and confidence keeps growing.”

“The stories coming out of this facility are truly inspiring and beyond what we could have hoped for,” says Dr. Christopher Mackie, Medical Officer of Health and CEO at the Middlesex-London Health Unit. “We’re seeing meaningful connections being established between people that would never have been possible without this facility.”

In addition to the increasing number of clients, building management and on-site staff at 186 King Street have not reported any concerns and London Police have not reported any changes in the level of activity in the area near the facility since the TOPS opened.

Intended to prevent opioid overdoses and deaths, temporary overdose prevention sites are part of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s expansion of its response to Ontario’s opioid drug crisis. London TOPS staff are drawn from employees of the Middlesex-London Health Unit, Regional HIV/AIDS Connection, the Canadian Mental Health Association, London Intercommunity Health Centre, the Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre, London CAReS and Addiction Services of Thames Valley.

For more information visit the Health Unit’s website at

Media Contact:

Elizabeth Milne
Executive Assistant to the Board of Health and Communications,
Middlesex-London Health Unit
519-663-5317 ext 2448
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Local Health Care News   Top

What's New

Watch the Caregiving Videos to hear from other caregivers, then join the discussion in the new Forum!

South West Health Links Joint Replacement Resources Information London