February 28, 2019: OPIOID CRISIS RESPONSE CONTINUES, WHILE UPDATE SUGGESTS LOCAL EFFORTS ARE SAVING LIVES

The Middlesex-London Health Unit and several of its partners held a news conference on Thursday, February 28th, 2019 to provide an update about the local response to the current opioid crisis.  While opioid drug deaths spiked early in 2018, they dropped steadily through the rest of the year.

  “As a community, we are beginning to take deaths out of the overdose crisis. Harm

reduction and outreach work of various sorts is connecting people with treatment,

reconnecting people with their cultures, and helping to get people’s lives back on track,”

says Dr. Chris Mackie, Medical Officer of Health and CEO of the Middlesex-London Health

Unit. “We are a long way from finding a solution to the opioid crisis – much remains to be

done – but this is a landmark moment.”

https://london.ctvnews.ca/efforts-to-fight-opioid-crisis-are-saving-lives-mlhu-1.4316927

https://lfpress.com/news/local-news/public-health-officials-to-unveil-latest-statistics-in-opioid-drug-crisis

Temporary Overdose Prevention Site to Operate Through end of 2018 as Proposed Permanent Sites Receives Federal Approval

On October 31st, 2018 Middlesex-London Health Unit and Regional HIV/AIDS Connection received notification that the Federal Government had approved applications for 2 permanent Consumption and Treatment Services in London. Health Canada also advised that the Temporary Overdose Prevention Site at 186 King Street has been approved as an interim facility until a permanent site is opened.

https://www.healthunit.com/news/od-prevention-federal-approval

Release of Final Community Drug and Alcohol Strategy

Following many months of focused work, the Steering Committee of the Middlesex-London Community Drug and Alcohol Strategy (CDAS) is pleased to announce the completion and launch of the Middlesex-London Community Drug and Alcohol Strategy - A Foundation for Action.

The report will be introduced Tuesday October 16, 2018, 11:30 am at Goodwill Industries, 255 Horton Street East, London, ON.

Phase 1: Developmental Work

We began our work with the goal of creating a comprehensive strategy that was informed by the community, service providers, people who use substances and evidence/trends.

Over the past year we accomplished the following:

  • Review of Surveillance Data to identify substance use trends in our community.
  • Review other Community Drug and Alcohol Strategies to identify strategies that would be applicable to London-Middlesex.
  • Environmental scan of Service Providers to understand current programs and services offered in the community. This allowed us to identify strengths and gaps.
  • This work allowed us to identify a number of global themes that a Community Drug and Alcohol Strategy must address, including: Access to Services and Support, Harm Reduction, Social Determinants of Health, Education and Awareness and Problematic Substance Use.

We are nearing the completion of the development phase of the work. We will soon present 29 Draft Recommendations, which are based on service provider environmental scan results, review of other drug strategies, pillar workgroup expertise and consideration of our Mission, Vision and Guiding Principles.