We envision a safer, and healthier, community, that optimizes the lives, abilities, and health of individuals, taking into consideration the needs of all diverse groups.
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.
Harm reduction seeks to reduce the harms associated with substance use for individuals, families and communities. It is pragmatic, and humane.
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.
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.
Our new name is now: Community Drug Strategy North Bay & Area
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.
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.
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.