Posted on Nov 7, 2018

Community Drug Strategy for Strathcona County

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It's my pleasure today to highlight the work of the Community Drug Strategy Committee for Strathcona County. I am so proud of how my community has moved forward in addressing this issue. Strathcona County, like many communities across the province, has been impacted by the opioid crisis. In 2017 community partners, including the following, came together to develop this strategy: various Alberta services departments, Chimo Youth Retreat Centre, Children's Services, Elk Island public and Catholic school divisions, Hope in Strathcona, Moms Stop the Harm, parents empowering parents, Sherwood Park primary care network, the RCMP and its victims' services, Saffron Sexual Assault Centre, the Salvation Army, various Strathcona county departments including family and community services, and the Strathcona county public library. Using a new mental health model based on the premises of collective ownership and empathy, best practices, brain science research, and community engagement, the committee has developed a community drug strategy for Strathcona County, from addiction to connection. 

With funding from an AHS opioid public awareness grant the committee developed a public information engagement campaign, Just a Little to Lose a Lot, and have created Opioids Don't Discriminate, an interactive experience. Originally scheduled to run this week at the community centre in Sherwood Park, this exhibit is a unique interactive exhibit allowing participants to follow the journey of three fictional community members who find themselves affected by opioid use. Based on real-life experiences and local statistics, this exhibit is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to explore the impact of opioid use in our community. With the uncertainty surrounding the unfolding incident at the community centre, I hope that this amazing exhibit will have the opportunity to continue and to travel across the province. As the MLA for Sherwood Park I am so thankful and appreciative of the collaborative work that this diverse group of community partners has accomplished. Congratulations.

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