November 9, 2017
Funding Allocated in Waterloo Region to Combat Opioid Crisis
WATERLOO REGION, ONTARIO – The Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), Kathryn McGarry, MPP for Cambridge, and Daiene Vernile, MPP for Kitchener Centre, announced more than $2.3 million in provincial funding today to prevent opioid addiction and overdose for residents across Waterloo Wellington.
The funding is part of $222 million announced province-wide, as part of Ontario’s Strategy to Prevent Opioid Addiction and Overdose. The Waterloo Wellington LHIN worked in partnership with local addiction and mental health service providers to allocate the funding to initiatives that will have the greatest immediate impact in addressing the current opioid crisis.
The funding includes more than $1.3 million for Waterloo Region, with funding across the LHIN benefiting all residents. See backgrounder for detailed initiatives and funding information.
“Preventing opioid addiction and overdose is key to Ontario’s overall strategy to combat the complex opioid crisis. These funds will assist our partners who are working collaboratively in their critical work in helping communities across Ontario address harm reduction and addiction treatment. This serious health issue needs a coordinated and comprehensive approach to saving lives and improving outcomes for our residents and this support will benefit families and communities in Ontario.”
— Kathryn McGarry, MPP for Cambridge
“In our efforts to address the overuse of opioids, it's critical to support organizations such as the House of Friendship, which are committed to creating a healthier community. Opioid addiction has had a devastating impact on people, families, and on communities across Ontario. Coming together with a coordinated strategy is an important step in addressing this serious health issue."
— Daiene Vernile, MPP for Kitchener Centre
“Addressing this tragic public health crisis requires a whole of community strategy, with all of our partners working together. My heart goes out to the many families who have already been affected by opioid addiction and overdose – we need to do better. These investments will put more supports on the ground immediately to support residents as we work together as a community on short and long-term strategies.”
— Bruce Lauckner, CEO, WWLHIN
“The devastating impact of opioid use disorder and overdose has reached every community in Ontario, and crosses all demographics. Our government has been working closely with partners across the province to combat this urgent issue for more than a year, and we are continuing to strengthen our strategy and increase harm reduction, addiction treatment and other supports. It is through this collaborative, evidence-based and comprehensive approach that we will be able to effectively address this crisis and save lives.”
— Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
- Announced in fall 2016, Ontario’s comprehensive Strategy to Prevent Opioid Addiction and Overdose is ensuring people in pain receive appropriate treatment, increasing access to holistic treatment for those with opioid use disorder, and improving the safety and health of people who use opioids, including access to the life-saving drug naloxone.
- Over the next three years, Ontario is investing more than $222 million province-wide to combat the opioid crisis in Ontario, including expanding harm reduction services, hiring more front-line staff and improving access to addictions supports across the province.
- Naloxone kits are distributed for free across Ontario. Find the location nearest you.
- Ontario is establishing an Opioid Emergency Task Force that will include a province-wide representation of front-line workers and people with lived experience to strengthen the province’s coordinated response to the opioid crisis.
Information about the Waterloo Wellington LHIN and its Board of Directors is available on the Waterloo Wellington LHIN website at www.wwlhin.on.ca.
Director, Communications & Community Engagement, Waterloo Wellington LHIN
519-748-2222 ext. 3235