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  • One small step – but more action is needed to tackle the drug poisoning epidemic

QUEEN’S PARK – Mike Schreiner released the following statement in response to the government’s announcement that businesses in “high risk” settings will be required to have naloxone kits on-site.

“The drug poisoning epidemic is real and it is lethal and every measure we take to prevent people from dying is worth taking.

So I welcome the new requirement for businesses in high-risk settings to have naloxone kits on-site.

But it is a small first step from a government that has failed to expand safe supply and not made the investments needed to sufficiently expand treatment services.

Ontario desperately needs a more ambitious and bold strategy to address the tragic toll of drug poisonings.

The fact that more than 2,800 people died from opioid-related causes last year in Ontario should be more than enough incentive for action.

I am proposing a multi-pronged strategy to tackle the addictions and drug poisoning crisis that calls for:

  • Decriminalizing drug use and shifting funding from the justice system to health care.
  • Establishing a 3-digit, 24/7 province-wide mental health crisis response line, and creating health-focused crisis response teams to respond to drug poisoning.
  • Increasing the number of consumption and treatment sites and expanding the availability of harm reduction programs, including safe supply.
  • Taking a Housing First approach and building 60,000 permanent supportive housing spaces with wrap mental health and addiction services.”
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