Drug and alcohol strategy unveiled for Lambton

·1 min read

A new mobile unit could help rural Lambton deal with the drug crisis.

Recently, Lambton Public Health introduced its Drug and Alcohol Strategy to the public. The strategy, which was six years in the making, will help deal with drug overdoses in the community.

The highest number of opioid deaths in Sarnia Lambton happened in 2020 with 43. This number was exasperated by the pandemic, said Lambton’s Medical Officer of Health Dr, Karalyn Dueck. There were 38 deaths in 2021 and 21 deaths in 2022 between the months of January and October

“It shows how critical this issue is,” said Lambton’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Karalyn Dueck, as she helped to officially launched the strategy.

The strategy focuses on three pillars, demand reduction, harm reduction, and supply reduction.

“This strategy is fit to suit local needs and will work on multiple levels including with individuals, local settings and on key policies,” said Dr. Dueck.

Kathy Bresette, of North Lambton Community Health in Forest said one of ways services could be increased for those dealing with a drug and alcohol addiction would be to have mobile services that could travel on a bus from community to community to reach the rural parts of the county. Bresette serves as the harm reduction pillar chair

Some of the statistics in the report point to the need of the drug and alcohol strategy. There were 78 percent of people surveyed during a homelessness enumeration study said that substance use was preventing them from finding housing. Twenty percent of 18 and 34 year olds report using cannabis at least weekly, while 21 percent were considered heavy drinkers.

Blake Ellis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Independent