Our Vision

A caring, inclusive and safe community that works collaboratively to reduce and eliminate the harms associated with drugs and alcohol.

Our Mission

Create, implement and evaluate a comprehensive drug and alcohol strategy to reduce problematic substance use and harm that reflects the needs of the entire community, through the use of a person centred, equity-focused approach based on the pillars of prevention, harm reduction, treatment and enforcement.

Our Guiding Principles

Community Strengths based

  • Recognize that Middlesex-London neighbourhoods, institutions, families and individuals have unique gifts to share, i.e. lived experience
  • Draw on community and individual strengths as well as successes to further develop community assets
  • Draw on community better practices from other community models that work

Evidence informed

  • Sound decision-making based on diverse forms of evidence from multiple sources, including best and promising practices from other community models that work


  • People first and all people matter
  • Challenge harmful labels, stereotypes, discrimination and oppression
  • Use language that is free of judgement and dignifying (not hurtful or derogatory)
  • Share facts and positive attitudes about people who use substances, including addressing myths about use and behaviour change
  • Use of community and public education, including at a system level


  • Promote and ensure programs, services, communities and resources that are accessible and appropriate to help reduce inequities faced by individuals who use substances and their supports in all environments (e.g. hospitals, clinics, businesses, women who are street involved)

locally relevant

  • Tailor solutions to the diversity and uniqueness of, and local context found within all communities in Middlesex-London (i.e. consider local economy, drug use trends)


  • Enhance inter-sectoral collaboration
  • Nurture partnerships between citizens/residents, community groups, service providers, government, business and persons with lived experience
  • Engage community members in a full and meaningful way


  • Build on our shared expectations, ambitions and optimism for improvements in the impacts of substance use on our community
  • Cultivate a realistic hope that acknowledges the challenges we face and persists in offering options outside of those already considered in resolving problems
  • Embrace the language that fosters hope such as "when" and "we believe"
  • Mentorship/peer support with lived experience

responsive to barriers

  • Provide community wide responses designed to identify and eliminate attitudinal, structural or systemic barriers to full participation in civic life and society as well as barriers to accessing the community's resources
  • Educate the community to remove stigma
  • Encourage/invite community participation

Action-oriented and results driven

  • Set goals and develop indicators to track progress and evaluate the performance of selected approaches against the results we seek
  • Use champions with expertise related to specific tasks
  • Assess unintended outcomes/impacts (both positive and negative) at process and outcome level (e.g. Health Equity Impact Assessment)
  • Publish the community's successes along the way

culturally safe

  • Recognize that it is impossible to be thoroughly knowledgeable about cultures other than one's one
  • Regard citizens as experts of their own culture and access their cultural expertise when engaging the community (e.g. those with lived experience)
  • Recognize that mainstream approaches can lead to stress in marginalized communities (e.g. ethno-stress in ethnic communities)
  • Use tailored approaches that are relevant to the needs of individuals who use substances, as well as to families and communities affected by substance use
  • Trauma informed


  • Seek meaningful involvement, participation and contribution of all people regardless of drug usage history, age, gender, ethnicity, race, income, and mental, cognitive or physical ability
  • Apply inclusive approach to all aspects of the drug strategy planning, implementation and evaluation process

equity focused

  • The social determinants of health (SDOH) are the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life (World Health Organization definition)
  • Take into account the inter-relationships and impact of SDOH, including how determinants of health and inequities reinforce each other
  • Collaborate with committees/groups working to address SDOH in other areas
  • Utilize culturally appropriate models of SDOH (e.g. Indigenous-informed model by the National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health)

reconciliation aware

  • To contribute to reconciliation by honouring the uniqueness of the relationship between settlers and Indigenous peoples
  • Establish and maintain a mutually respectful relationship with Indigenous peoples and communities
  • Recognize the role of our own colonial history, power and privilege in shaping community interactions so as to mitigate/eliminate adverse effects of that power and privilege