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
- Share our resources and campaign materials. Our workgroups have developed several resources to be shared through your organizations and networks and used in the community by non-profit, public and private businesses. Contact us about our Opioid Careful Use and Stigma campaigns, or check out our community resources at the bottom of our Partners webpage.
- 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.
Resources for Family Members
Available resources for family members and caregivers of people who have a substance use disorder.
Review available resources
Phone Call Support
Crisis Outreach and support Team
24/7 line providing confidential health services information related to alcohol, drugs, mental illness and gambling.
Warm Line - Operates 8 pm to12 midnight, 7 days per week. A confidential and anonymous phone and text service for adults to chat with a peer support worker (not a crisis line)
Ontario Drug and Alcohol Helpline
Phone 1-800-565-8603 or 519-439-0174
Canada Drug Rehab Addiction Services Directory
Al-Anon/Alateen of Hamilton-Burlington
Finding Our Way
Learning to Live with Loss, Dr. Bob Kemp Hospice - 10 Weekly sessions
To register call Bereavement and Supportive Care Manager
Phone 905-387-2448 ext. 2206
British Columbia Centre on Substance Use - BCCSU
Coping Kit Dealing with Addiction in Your Family - Gone Too Soon: Navigating Grief and Loss as a Result of Substance Use
Grief Recovery after Substance Passing - GRASP
Bereaved Families of Ontario, Hamilton Burlington Branch
Friends in Grief, Bay Gardens Funeral Home, Hamilton
Heartache 2 Hope
Partners in Recovery (Thursdays @ 6:30 p.m.) – Drop in group. No referral or registration required
Support, information and education for family and friends of people with substance use issues.
196 Wentworth St. North, Hamilton, ON.
Alternatives for Youth (AY)
Family education, support and skills development – individual counselling and group programs
38 James St South, 2nd Floor Hamilton, ON L8P 4W6
Contact Sara McAuley
Phone 905-527-4469, Ext 8
Email [email protected]
Family Outreach Ontario
Christian Addiction Support Services
1292 Glancaster Road. Ancaster ON L9G 3L1
Email [email protected]
Hamilton Regional Indian Centre
Addiction and mental health counselors that will work with family members
34 Ottawa Street North, Hamilton
Family Liaison Peer Support Providers
Phone 905-522-1155 ext. 35599
Family Peer Support Group
Peer-led, no registration required
Daytime group – Wednesday 12:30 pm
Evening Group – Every 3rd Wednesday of the month 5:30 to 7 pm
West 5th Campus, Level 2 Room G209
Phone 905-522-1155 Ext. 35599
Family Resource Centre
Access to books, DVD, magazines, self-help work books, community brochures and pamphlets, iPad access on online and video resources, caring volunteers who also have family members with lived experience
west 5th Campus, 1st Floor
Phone 905-522-1155 ext. 39075
Family 1-to-1 Peer Support
Family peer support providers have lived experience of being a family member/caregiver to someone living with mental health/addiction challenges. Book a family peer support appointment by calling
Phone 905-522-1155 ext.35599
Concurrent Disorders Family Night Series-drop in
Last Wednesday of each month from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
West 5th in room A210
For family and supports for people with BPD and emotion regulation
12-week educational group.
No referral necessary – Registration required for the group
Phone 905-522-1155 ext. 33500
FAR – Families for Addiction Recovery
Moms Stop The Harm
Senior Project Manager, Drug Strategy
Email: [email protected]
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