Opioid Advisory Working Group set up in detachment area
A Nottawasaga Opioid Advisory Working Group has been formed comprised
of local professional agencies and groups who are regularly involved or
come in contact with members of the community that are a regular user
of opioids (including Heroin, Fentanyl, Oxycodone) or individuals who
have knowledge of the extent that opioids are causing harm in the
Nottawasaga OPP reported this morning the working group, which will
meet quarterly, includes OPP, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit,
South Simcoe Police Service, Stevenson Memorial Hospital, Ontario
Addiction Treatment Centres, local pharmacists, mental health and
addictions treatment workers, and local shelters.
Sustain/develop relationships amongst community stakeholders;
Identify priorities through collaborative discussions;
Discuss ongoing and future harm reduction, prevention and treatment
Promote a coordinated approach to addressing local opioid concerns
across our communities.
"The creation of the Nottawasaga Opioid Advisory Working Group is a
valuable opportunity to effectively manage cooperation and
communication amongst agencies and groups to achieve goals and
priorities focusing on opioid drugs with our local communities," said
Nottawasaga OPP Detachment Commander, Inspector Steve Clegg.
Barbara Foster, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, cautioned that
fentanyl can be added to any drug and cause an overdose.
"Overdoses can be prevented by not mixing drugs, not using alone,
starting with a small amount, and by recognizing the symptoms of an
overdose," she said. "Also, have Naloxone available, a medication that
can temporarily reverse the effects of an overdose related to opioids.
An overdose is a medical emergency and anyone that suspects an overdose
should immediately call 911, even if Naloxone has been given."
The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act provides some legal protection for
individuals who seek emergency help during an overdose.
Naloxone kits are free and available at many pharmacies with a Health
Card or from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and Ontario
Addiction Treatment Centres.