The province is hoping to stop more overdose deaths.
Ontario has announced a strategy to provide relief to those affected by the opioid crisis, including adding more front-line-harm-reduction workers, expanding the supply of the overdose reversal drug naloxone, and creating rapid access addiction clinics in every region of the province.
New initiatives from the announcement include: a partnership with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health to expand treatment and care. A collaboration with the Ontario College of Family Physicians to mentor health care providers on appropriate prescribing of opioidsm. Working with Indigenous communities to enhance culturally appropriate mental health and wellness programs. Improved data collection. A plan to develop addictions treatments and services targeted at youth.
In total, Ontario is investing over $222 million over 3 years to enhance Ontario's Strategy to Prevent Opioid Addiction and Overdose.
Ontario Conservative Leader Patrick Brown spoke about the opioid crisis.
"Earlier this week, I heard the tragic story of a mother, who told me about losing her son. It was a preventable death," he said. "I don't want to hear from another mother, who has lost their son, knowing we didn't do enough, knowing the government didn't do enough," he continued.
OPP Detective Sergeant Lee Fulford spoke about fentanyl.
"These pills are being disguised as other pills, which makes it very dangerous to the public," he said. "Fentanyl can look like anything. You can't see it. You can't smell it. You can't taste it. It can be disguised as any prescription medication that can be prescribed by a doctor."
Studies show two Ontarians die every day from a fentanyl overdose.
The funding announcement was made by Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.