The Dufferin-Caledon Drug Strategy Committee is a community group composed of like-minded agencies that are working together to support and coordinate the development and implementation of local, comprehensive, cross-sector strategies to reduce the harms related to substance use and/or addictive behaviours. This committee came together in 2017 after a number of local deaths by overdose affected several community partners who were working with those who were lost. The goals of this committee have always been to raise awareness about the resources available in the Dufferin and Caledon communities for those who are struggling with drug use; to honour International Overdose Awareness Day annually on (or around) August 31st; and to educate the Dufferin and Caledon communities about the stigmas associated with drug use.
This committee now functions as an addiction-focused workgroup under the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative Ontario Health team.
Since 2017, the Dufferin-Caledon Drug Strategy Committee has held an event to honour International Overdose Awareness Day (August 31st). Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a health fair and barbecue was held at the Edelbrock Centre in Orangeville and the community was invited to access addictions resources, listen to survivor stories and ask questions of the many service providers in attendance at those events. Last year, the committee ran a virtual event through their Facebook page; resources provided from that event are still available to access today.
This year, in honour of International Overdose Awareness Day, the committee will be launching an Anti-Stigma Campaign: People who use drugs are real people. Stop the blame. Stop the shame. Stop the stigma. This campaign will focus on the drug-related stigma that individuals who use drugs may experience and educate the community on the impact of those labels and stereotypes.
On August 31, 2021, please visit the Dufferin Overdose Awareness Facebook page for more details on International Overdose Awareness Day and the launch of this local campaign.
Posters, images and a rack card for the Anti-Stigma Campaign can be download below.