The province will fund a $2.5 million plan for Ottawa to address the city’s opioid crisis, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced this week at a meeting with Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. Formulated in response to the recent overdose deaths among youth in the city, the plan would increase access to withdrawal management and treatment centres in Ottawa, and would equip first responders with overdose-reversing drug Naloxone.
During the meeting, Wynne and Watson also discussed how the province can support municipal strategies for dealing with the harms associated with opioids. The Premier shared that she plans to convene mayors from municipalities across Ontario to discuss current challenges in managing the opioid crisis, and the ways in which their jurisdictions can align with the provincial strategy which was announced in October 2016, by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The Strategy to Prevent Opioids Addiction and Overdose proposed three main components including: enhancing data collection, modernizing prescribing and dispensing practices of opioids, and connecting patients with high quality addiction treatment services.
The Canadian Mental Health Association and Addictions and Mental Health Ontario recently developed and released a response to the proposed strategy, which highlights the importance of providing individuals with addictions related issues with a broad range of holistic supports within community based settings.