The Brantford-Brant Community Drugs Strategy

Substance use is a complex social issue that affects everyone and requires comprehensive coordination from all sectors of society to address.  With the pending cannabis legalization underway and the tragic impact of the opioid crisis, it is increasingly important to prioritize action at every level of government and within the broader community.  Fortunately, there is now more research in the field of substance use and addiction than ever before.  There is a better understanding of the protective factors that prevent misuse and risk factors contributing to addiction and more evidence for best practices in treatment and recovery interventions.  There is a deeper understanding of the impacts of stigma and marginalization on individuals who use substances, and, although much more needs to be done to shift our societal views away from judgment and prejudice, strides are being made in educating the public of the realities of substance use and encouraging compassionate and dignified treatment of all persons.  From the beginning, the Brantford-Brant Community Drugs Strategy has been a community effort; countless individuals provided thoughtful and critical feedback.  This strategy will serve as a roadmap to work together.  The four-pillared approach guides our thinking about the issues surrounding substance use in a holistic, careful manner.

The strategy outlines recommendations that aim to:

  • Delay or prevent substance use
  • Keep individuals safe and healthy while respecting their unique choices
  • Ensure individuals have access to timely, adequate services and are treated with dignity and respect
  • Reframe addiction from a criminal justice issue to a public health issue

For more information, please read the Brantford-Brant Community Drugs Strategy.