Opioid Response and Naloxone Distribution

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Naloxone Distribution

As part of the response to the growing opioid crisis, the WECHU worked with community partners and faith-leaders to distribute naloxone kits to the community. These efforts resulted in the distribution of over 500 free naloxone kits to members in the congregation at churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples in the region; as well as approximately 4,000 people being provided with education about substance use and opioid overdose response.

Through the Ontario Naloxone Program (ONP), the WECHU provides naloxone kits and training to eligible community organizations for direct distribution to clients who are at risk of an opioid overdose, as well as their friends and family. There are currently 24 community partners actively involved in the ONP, four of which were onboarded in 2022. The Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention team re-launched a resource portal, which can be accessed by the various program leads for step-by-step guidance to operate and distribute naloxone as an ONP partner, including client and staff training.

Collectively, these organizations distributed 1,034 naloxone kits and trained 1,142 individuals to administer naloxone in 2022.

SafePoint: Consumption and Treatment Services

A safer consumption site is one of many harm reduction strategies aimed at reducing the risks associated with substance use in the community. Operating under federal exemptions to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, these facilities are legally operated indoor spaces where people come to use their own pre-obtained substances under safe conditions, with the supervision of medically trained workers, and with on-site linkages to basic medical care, social services, and mental health/substance use treatment.

The WECHU-led process to establish such a site began in the City of Windsor in 2019 and included a series of community consultations  which were completed in 2022. Follow these consultations a site was confirmed at 101 Wyandotte St. East in the City of Windsor.  With the location selected, approved by City of Windsor council, and lease agreement secured, the WECHU began retrofitting the space to prepare the site for operations. Applications were submitted in July of 2022 to federal and provincial governments requesting the necessary approvals and funding to operate the site. Ongoing dialogue with neighbourhood residents, businesses, and other stakeholders continued to ensure any concerns were mitigated and the planned operations of the site were reflective of community feedback.