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New strategy for drugs and addiction?

Mon Apr 24, 2006 Miss Vicky 

Tomorrow evening the City's Ottawa Integrated Drugs and Addictions Strategy is holding a public consultation in our ward. The city set up this tast force to " identify gaps, capacity issues and integration opportunities in the area of prevention, treatment, enforcement, and harm reduction" and to make recommendations on priority actions to Council.

This is the "four pillar" approach to addiction and drugs that you may have heard the city or police service talking about - the idea is that we can only really deal with the problems associated with drug use and addictions by working in four distinct but related areas: prevention (public education, for example), treatment (and there are various types of treatment to fill different needs), enforcement and harm reduction (which includes initiatives like the needle and crack pipe exchanges). My impression is that Ottawa has relied to much on the enforcement side of things while the treatment pillar is quite starved. But I guess we'll find out more about that tomorrow.

Here are some interesting stats in the meantime:
- The rate of cannabis use in Ontario schools jumps from 4.2% to 11.8% between grade 8 and grade 9
- 1 in 6 Ontario high school students report symptoms of drug use problems.(This would translate to approximately 8,880 high school students reporting symptoms of drug use problems in Ottawa.)
- Over 30,000 individuals in Ottawa reported some form of substance problem requiring treatment.
- There is no residential treatment facility in Ottawa for youth under the age of 16.,br> - Waiting lists of 100-200 people exist for residential treatment programs.
- An average of 200-300 people seek treatment outside of the region each year.
- Ottawa has a 21% rate of HIV and Hepatitis C infection among Intravenous Drug users (9 times grater than Toronto’s infection rate among drug users)
- The estimated incidence of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is 1% of births
- 30-40% of major Trauma Patients (Injury Severity Score – ISS > 15) have drugs or alcohol in their system
- In 2003, Ottawa Paramedic Service responded to an average of 4 calls per day that were categorized as overdose/poisoning
- In 2005, Ottawa Police laid 2,025 charges related to drugs (possession or some form of production/cultivation or trafficking)
- In 2005, Ottawa Police laid 630 charges related to impaired driving (impaired or failure/refuse to take breath sample or fail to provide blood)
- In Child Welfare in 2003 it was found that in 22% to 33% of the substantiated maltreatment investigations, caregiver functioning was impacted by alcohol/Drug/Solvent Abuse.

Tomorrow's Public Consultation will take place atTom Brown Arena, 141 Bayview Road, Ottawa from 7 to 9 p.m.

Some people were moved to reply

westcoastflake Apr 25, 2006 08:03 AM said:

Hello from the sunny west coast. Vancouver has implemented a four pillars approach to drugs and addiction where this affects mostly the downtown core where poverty, drug use and crime are the highest.
It has been very controversial as this social problem is magically wished away by the masses, who believe more cops and better enforcement would solve the problem. A great short documentary made by a couple of Vancouver cops called "Behind the Blue Lense" gives one a first hand look at life on the street.
If we continue in our old ways of doing things why would we believe things in the present or future are going to change?
In my comfortabe abode, with a well stocked larder, and many comforts of life why should I be concerned about a fellow human being who is experiencing poverty. We had a wonderful city alderman Emory Barnes who actually went and lived in the downtown east side (our highest poverty and drug use location) for 30 days. He is an inspiration for me and many Vancouverites.

We need to educate ourselves, grant ourselves the feelings of compassion and respect for the human life. It is faulty thinking to believe that people living in poverty and drug addiction want to live that way.
Enough spouting. Go Senators GO!!

For a good review of Vancouver's 4 Pillars go to www.vancouver.ca/four pillars/pdf/framework_revised. pdf

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[Edited By The Webgeek Apr 25, 2006 10:04 AM]

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