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Public Health gets enhanced harm reduction funding

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care provided all 36 public health units in Ontario with additional funding to address the opioid crisis by enhancing harm reduction services and supports. The Harm Reduction Program Enhancement funding has three components:

  1. Local Opioid Response: Implement, maintain and/or expand local opioid-related programming based on an assessment of local need
  2. Naloxone Distribution and Training: Increase dissemination of naloxone kits to priority populations through service provider agencies
  3. Opioid Overdose Early Warning and Surveillance: Support implementation and/or enhancement of early warning systems to identify and respond to a surge in opioid overdoses

DPRA to develop a drug strategy for Oxford County

Public Health has hired DPRA - a leading consulting practice in the fields of health and social sciences - to develop a local drug strategy that is specific to Oxford County, grounded in evidence and built upon strong partnerships and coordination.

They will deliver an action plan, an overdose response plan and an implementation plan.

DPRA will work with a steering committee and a working group to engage service providers, people with lived experience and the broader community to gather feedback for the plan.

Led by Dr. Kate Mossman and Clayo Laanements, DPRA will produce a strategy by the end of 2018.

Drag Strategy Team
DRPA met with community leaders on January 10, 2018 to review their plan on developing a drug strategy for Oxford County.

Public Health researching accessibility and delivery of opioid-related services

Public Health will be conducting a situational assessment of the accessibility and coordination of opioid-related services in Oxford County. The situational assessment will inform the development of the local drug strategy. The study will assess the gaps in opioid-related services and the barriers and facilitators to delivering and accessing these services.

Data collection is planned to start this month and we expect to complete the assessment in April 2018. The assessment was designed with input from people with lived experience and service providers.

We will look at opioid-related services that target three populations: people who use opioids, people at risk of using opioids and loved ones of people who use opioids.

Expanded access to naloxone

Naloxone - an antidote to opioid overdose - has been available from Public Health since March 2014 and from pharmacies since June 2016. The Harm Reduction Program Enhancement funding provided an opportunity to expand access to naloxone through agencies who serve people at risk of opioid overdose.

Since November 30, 2017, Public Health has trained eight people from community agencies in distributing naloxone kits. Another training session is scheduled for this month.

The provincial government recently announced that public health units can further expand naloxone kit distribution to interested fire and police services.

Opioid Monitoring Bulletin now available

Public Health is now issuing surveillance reports every two weeks. These bulletins share local opioid overdose information on a regular and timely basis with key stakeholders.

The Opioid Monitoring Bulletin includes information from November 6, 2017, onwards, posted below. Over 80 health, justice and social service providers and all physicians in Oxford County receive the Bulletin via fax or email. The Bulletin is also posted to the Ontario Emergency Management Communication Tool to ensure the Ministry Emergency Operations Centre has updated status information about our community.

We continue to improve the Bulletin and we aim to include information from emergency medical responses in the near future.

Opioid monitoring bulletins

March 12, 2018

February 26, 2018

February 12, 2018

January 29, 2018

January 15, 2018

January 2, 2018

December 18, 2017

December 4, 2017

November 20, 2017

November 6, 2017