Island residents urged to offer suggestions for Manitoulin strategy to curb drug misuse

Brenda Stankiewicz of the Harm Reduction Subcommittee of the Manitoulin Addiction and Mental Health Partners unveils the new Manitoulin Drug Strategy at the National Addictions and Awareness Week Mnidoo Mnising 2016 Gathering held in Aundeck Omni Kaning. photo by Robin Burridge

MANITOULIN—The Manitoulin Drug Strategy Committee is seeking community input in the further development of a drug strategy for Manitoulin.

“Substance misuse affects everyone,” states a press release from the Manitoulin Drug Strategy Committee. “From the challenges of keeping prescription medications away from children and teens; to alcohol misuse in home and communities; to dependence following treatment for pain and accidental poisonings––substance misuse affects all of society. While anyone can become part of the problem, everyone is part of the solution. The Manitoulin Drug Strategy committee is asking you to get involved.”

“The Drug Strategy seeks to find ways to work in collaboration to promote health and prevent substance misuse, restore and maintain community safety and advocate for services and support for people living with addictions and their loved-ones,” the release continues.

Co-chair of the Manitoulin Drug Strategy Committee Mark Forsythe explained that the committee is working on developing an Island-wide strategy and is seeking community input through a survey.

“The committee has launched an online survey to find out what you think is needed to take action against substance misuse on Manitoulin Island,” said Mr. Forsythe. “We want the Island community to get involved and will be encouraging participation in the survey during National Addictions Awareness Week in November.”

The Manitoulin Drug Strategy is a group of individuals and agencies working together on a plan to address substance use on Manitoulin.

“The plan will focus on increasing four key directions; Health promotion and education to prevent the misuse of substances is key to developing a community commitment to reducing the harms associated with substance misuse,” explains the press release. “The more we know about substance misuse, the better prepared we will be to act. Community safety, working with enforcement and justice will encourage people to form a community of care in which we are each responsible for the other. Collaboration and cooperation are building blocks for community development and engagement.  Communities working and acting together will ensure that we will all feel included and services and support includes efforts in the areas of harm reduction, treatment and advocacy. As people in need find a caring community to support them on their journey, they will find ways to get well.”

The survey includes six questions and takes less than 10 minutes to complete.

The answers provided in the survey are anonymous and participation is voluntary.

To take the survey, visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/NYQ2P2N.