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For Immediate Release
Friday, April 12th, 2019 | 1:00 P.M.  | Windsor-Essex County

On Friday afternoon, the Windsor-Essex Community Opioid and Substance Strategy (WECOSS) Leadership Committee released an online report that outlines key accomplishments that took place in 2018 after a full year of Strategy implementation. The report was launched in conjunction with the new website.

Following the release of the Action Plan in January 2018, the WECOSS Leadership Committee and Working Groups identified a number of important activities to address in year one. The activities fell under the four broad themes of Prevention & Education, Harm Reduction, Treatment & Recovery, and Enforcement & Justice, which are described in detail on the new website

“Members of the Leadership Committee and all of the working groups have been working collaboratively to develop a comprehensive Community Opioid and Substance Strategy.  Much progress has been made to date, but we must continue our efforts to implement our community Action Plan and develop strategies that will address this complex issue.” 

City of Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens

Some highlights from 2018 captured in an infographic include the development of an overdose monitoring system, which tracks overdose events in the community and improves the communication between hospitals, emergency services, and community partners. A second highlight was the installation of 7 new needle disposal bins, which have collected 35,478 used needles to date. Another enhanced harm reduction program was the distribution of 3,679 naloxone kits to community members.

“Thank you to all participants of the Leadership Committee who continue to work diligently to develop a comprehensive strategy to address this complex issue. We are grateful to these individuals who share a deep compassion for our community and the safety of its citizens.  It is going to take the continued collaboration of all involved parties – including the Provincial Government – to devise an approach that will address the needs of everyone affected by substance use. But we are determined, through our ongoing efforts, to devise a strategy that will make a dent in these issues to benefit the citizens in our community.”

County of Essex Warden Gary McNamara

The greatest highlight of 2018 was the 28 community agencies coming together to address key substance use issues in Windsor and Essex County. The Strategy has strengthened community partnerships between school boards, healthcare providers, and other community agencies. Working together, we’ve created a new hub of helpful information for families, friends, healthcare providers, and other community groups dealing with opioids and substance use issues. The website is mobile friendly, accessible, and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to the community.

Media Contact
Communications Department
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
519-258-2146 ext. 6397 (NEWS)

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