Author Topic: London: Agencies seek input on booze, drug battle  (Read 228 times)

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London: Agencies seek input on booze, drug battle
« on: March 02, 2018, 01:58:45 AM »
@nick FYI

http://www.lfpress.com/2018/02/28/agencies-seek-input-on-booze-drug-battle

February 28, 2018



A team of 30 agencies has developed more than 100 ways to battle London and Middlesex County’s drug and alcohol problem.

Now, they want residents to weigh in, with the hope of launching the strategy this fall.

“What we’re asking the community is: what do you see as priority issues, what are the some of the most important things you see here, do they resonate, are there gaps?” Brian Lester, co-chair of the Middlesex-London community drug and alcohol strategy steering committee, said Wednesday.

Three London drop-in sessions on the strategy begin tonight, with March 16 a deadline for responses to an online survey.

The strategy features 29 broad recommendations based on treatment, harm reduction, enforcement and prevention, with individual suggestions totalling more than 100.

The recommendations range from new day-detox programs to prescribed heroin treatment, from better discharge planning for addicted people leaving jail to identifying new drugs before they get a grip on the community.

“The real goal was to make sure we were as comprehensive as possible and didn’t leave out things we felt were important,” co-chair Rhonda Brittan, a health manager at the Middlesex-London health unit, said.

She and Lester, also executive director of Regional HIV/AIDS Connection, acknowledge the plan is ambitious. But the impact of drug and alcohol abuse in the region can’t be understated, they said.

“I believe very few of us are not impacted by the issues associated with substance use,” Lester said.

A key recommendation in the strategy is creating a different response to crystal meth addiction.

“It seems like traditional approaches aren’t working with this group so we need to do something apart,” Lester said.

Often lost in discussions about drug strategies are the long-term ways to prevent abuse in the first place, identified in this strategy, Brittan said.

“It’s looking at the causes of the causes,” she said. “It’s not really even about drugs anymore. It’s about social connectiveness, it’s about opportunities for youth, it’s about resources for parents.”

Drop-in sessions

Today, 6-8 p.m.: Stevenson & Hunt Room, Central Library

March 5, 6-8 p.m.: South London Community Centre

March 6, 6-8 p.m.: London East Social Services

Online survey

www.mldncdas.com/getinvolved

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