Update

Our new name is now: Community Drug Strategy North Bay & Area

History

In February 2011, the need for a drug strategy for the community was established. A meeting of the North Bay Drug Awareness Community was called in March to discuss the issue. Following that date, the group changed its name to the North Bay and Area Community Drug Strategy Committee, and new members were added.
In November 2012, we received funding from the Ministry of Tourism, Sport and Culture, and a Project Coordinator was hired. The work that was completed resulted in a report, substantiating the need for a regional drug strategy.
As part of the sustainability of the work to be completed, it was necessary to secure additional funding. The same Ministry provided funding related to awareness, information sharing, gathering public input, and an information program for teens. We expected to directly reach 500 people through this stage in actuality over 3700. The information gathered is reflected in a report, available here.

The Strategy

Based on the information gathered through that first process, and updated and refined since, a full strategy is being developed—stay tuned!

The Steering Committee

The function of the Steering Committee is to provide overall direction and coordination to the work of the Pillars. The Steering Committee’s Terms of Reference are available here.

Patch for Patch (P4P) Project

The Committee’s most significant success to date is the development, implementation, and dissemination of the P4P program. P4P arose out of a need identified in North Bay in 2013 by users and city police to address a rash of deaths caused by misuse of fentanyl patches. Within two months, the protocol had been drafted, consultations held with local physicians and pharmacists, and forms and procedures implemented. The protocol was swiftly adapted and adopted in communities across Ontario. In December 2015, a private member’s bill sponsored by our MPP, Vic Fedeli, was accepted by the legislature and given Royal Assent: it is now law. A remarkable achievement!! The next step is the development and implementation of regulations to operationalize the bill.

Four Pillars

Prevention

Prevention and health promotion are related, but distinct in practice. In the substance use field, ‘prevention’ identifies and seeks to avoid problem behaviours and social harms amongst individuals. The focus is largely on delaying, reducing, or eliminating [use of] alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug[s], and reducing risk. ‘Health promotion’ in the substance use field works at a broader level than substance use prevention, with the aim of strengthening health, well-being and resiliency, reducing stigma, and addressing the root causes of harmful behaviours. Health promotion addresses the social and personal impact of substance use from a public health perspective. The Pillar’s Terms of Reference are available

Harm Reduction

Harm reduction seeks to reduce the harms associated with substance use for individuals, families and communities. It is pragmatic, and humane. It can include, but does not require, abstinence. The focus is on the harms experienced by the individual, not on the substance use itself. Priority is given to immediate goals. Effective harm reduction approaches are pro-active, offer a comprehensive range of coordinated, user-friendly, client-centered and flexible programs and services and provide a supportive, non-judgmental environment. The Pillar’s Terms of Reference are available

Treatment

Interventions that seek to improve the physical, emotional and psychological health and well-being of people who use or have used substances in problematic ways (and sometimes their families) through various psychosocial and psychopharmacological therapeutic methods. The goal is to incorporate multiple client-centered, recovery-focused, evidence-based treatment practices. See Appendix B for examples of the range of substance use treatment practices. Effective treatment is evidence-based, easily accessible and has the active involvement of the person. Evidence-based services take place when decisions that affect the care of clients are taken with due weight accorded to all valid, relevant information. See Appendix A of the Terms of Reference for more discussion of what constitutes “evidence-based” service. The Pillar’s Terms of Reference are available

Enforcement

Interventions that seek to strengthen community safety through a broad range of collaborative activities addressing criminal activity associated with substance misuse, and recognize the need for safety and public order in our area. Enforcement includes law enforcement and justice systems: police services, courts, probation and parole, etc. Effective enforcement means visibility in communities, contribution to positive social conditions and attitudes, understanding of local issues, and awareness of existing community resources. Effective enforcement also requires integration with prevention, harm reduction, and treatment. The Pillar’s Terms of Reference are available

Recovery Days North Bay

People suffering from addiction are often judged as having moral weakness. Even once they have found recovery, that stigma may continue. Recovering from an addiction is hard enough, but for many former substance abusers, even more difficult is dealing with society’s judgment.
A new recovery movement is being organized at the local, provincial and federal level, one that is aimed at keeping the focus on the fact that recovery works and is making life better for millions of Canadians.  Recovery Day aims to put a face and a voice on those who have found the solution. By sharing these success stories, those who are still suffering can see that recovery is possible.
Recovery Day Celebrations started in Canada in 2012.
Currently, over 30 cities across Canada celebrate Recovery Month/Week/Days, with more cities joining in the celebrations each year.
The mission of these events is to build awareness, challenge social stigma and celebrate the role recovery plays in improving lives for individuals, families and communities.
These events are possible by the support of volunteers, communities and all of those in recovery and those that support recovery to be able to engage to have their story, their voice and their passion serve a great purpose- helping to break the stigma that surrounds addiction.