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The Opioid Crisis

The opioid crisis is very serious and requires a multifaceted and proactive approach.  Here is what the government is currently doing :
 
Ontario is providing urgent relief to those affected by the opioid crisis, including adding more front-line harm-reduction workers, expanding the supply of naloxone, and creating new rapid access addiction clinics in every region of the province.
 
In August, the Province announced investments of more than $222 million over three years to enhance Ontario’s Strategy to Prevent Opioid Addiction and Overdose which will help ensure people with opioid addictions have access to holistic supports that address the full spectrum of needs, including:

  • Expanding the supply of naloxone means  including more access for at-risk individuals by distributing the overdose reversal drug through emergency departments, and exploring more opportunities to make nasal spray naloxone available to people in Ontario
  • Expanding Rapid Access Addiction Medicine Clinics across the province to provide people with immediate and ongoing addiction treatment, counselling and other mental health supports and boosting access to community-based withdrawal management services and addictions programs
  • Expanding proven harm-reduction services, such as needle exchange programs and supervised injection sites.
  • In addition, our government is making fentanyl testing strips available that can identify whether a substance contains fentanyl. These strips will at first be made available at all current supervised injection services and pop-up sites and will be evaluated for further distribution

                        
In our community: In response to a marked increase in overdoses over the past year, the City of Ottawa has opened a temporary supervised injection facility in the heart of the Byward Market on Clarence Street. This is the first legal supervised injection site in Ottawa. I salute the work of Ottawa Public Health, which has decided to try this harm-reduction approach to fight the fentanyl crisis in the city.  The service is available for 120 days until the authorized supervised injection centre opens at the Sandy Hill Community Health centre.

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