The Hamilton Drug Strategy is a community collaboration that addresses the harms associated with substance use experienced by individuals, families and the community. It involves a wide range of stakeholders from multiple sectors and members of the community to identify and address systems-level gaps and implement best practices to ensure all individuals are able to live their best quality of life. The City of Hamilton is a partner in this community driven strategy and provides administrative and community engagement support through a Senior Project Manager and Health Promotion Specialist.
People from all walks of life are impacted by their own or someone else’s substance use. The costs of substance use at both individual and societal levels are substantial. Capitalizing on the existing strengths of Hamilton’s mental health and addictions system and the assets already present in our community, the Hamilton Drug Strategy aims to provide an integrated and comprehensive approach, connecting community agencies, strategies and programs to reduce the impact of substance use in the community.
The Hamilton Drug Strategy uses the four pillar approach of prevention, harm reduction, treatment and social justice/ justice, and highlights the importance of accessible, affordable and safe housing and data-driven actions.
Drug Strategy Goal
All residents of Hamilton are free of harm due to substance use and are able to enjoy the best quality of life.
How are we going to reach our goal?
The Hamilton Drug Strategy is working to change:
- The prevalence of substance use
- The number of substance related deaths
- The number of overdoses from substance use
- The number of individuals who are engaged in or at risk for engagement in the justice system receiving treatment and support for their substance use
The guiding principles for the Hamilton Drug Strategy provide strategic direction for our partnership and our actions, shaping how we work together and with the community we hope to serve.
Interventions will focus on supporting priority populations through the utilization of resources for the most at risk.
A health equity approach will be used to consider and examine the root causes that contribute to health and social inequities, so the residents of Hamilton can reach their full health potential.
Accountable to the community to develop and implement a system-wide response that ensures ease of access to the needed programs and services.
The Hamilton Drug Strategy will coordinate and integrate comprehensive services, programs and policies to address substance use in our community.
The Hamilton Drug Strategy will focus on achieving mutually agreed upon goals that result in an enhanced quality of life and well-being for Hamilton residents.
An integrated approach connects all partners for the purpose of maximizing efficiency and impacts of services and to ensure community members and their supports have ease of access to these services.
The Hamilton Drug Strategy will explore new and non-traditional forms of evidence-based information, actions, and interventions.
We will ensure that communication will be open, transparent and timely.
We will ensure meaningful collaboration that is fair, balanced and respectful between all partners and those with lived experience.
Our actions will be based on quantitative and qualitative evidence from multiple sources including but not limited to: clinical and population health research; community health issues and local context; experience; community needs and political support; and resources.
The Hamilton Drug Strategy emphasises social and justice principles, developing action plans to incorporate equity and social determinants of health including; equality relative to economic, political and social opportunities, cultural and ethnic diversity, and all forms of social injustice attached to poverty, discrimination and stigma. This approach is cognisant of the Justice system’s emphasis toward ensuring the administration of laws that are concerned with justice, fairness, reasonableness and a genuine respect for people.
How will the strategy be developed and implemented?
The Hamilton Drug Strategy includes four overlapping phases, including Planning, Implementation, Evaluation and Celebrating Success, and Planning and Revitalization. The Strategy will cycle through these phases to remain up-to-date with the trends and needs of the community.
- Drug Strategy Summit ✔
- Partnership development and workgroup formation ✔
- Goals and indicators development ✔
- Action planning
- Community consultations
- Strategy finalization
- Implement action plans
- Monitor progress on population health and performance indicators
Evaluation and Celebrating Success
- Status report on population health indicators and performance indicators
- Partnership evaluation
- Celebrating success
- Knowledge translation
Planning and Revitalization
- Update action plans to align with trends and community needs
Surveillance & Alerts
Hamilton Public Health Services is collaborating with Hamilton Paramedic Services, Hamilton Health Sciences, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, and community partners to provide timely opioid-related information to the public. Access the Hamilton Opioid Information System.
How to get involved
- Join a workgroup. The Prevention, Harm Reduction, Treatment and Social Justice / Justice Workgroups meet on a monthly basis and are always looking for new community members and organizations to participate.
- Join the Community Member Network. A committee of individuals with living/ lived experience with substance use that provides support to the drug strategy.
Senior Project Manager, Drug Strategy
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