Today, on August 31, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, released a statement as Ontario recognizes International Overdose Awareness Day. Every year, more than one million Ontarians experience mental health or addiction challenges, and we know the COVID-19 pandemic has created new and more complex obstacles than we have ever seen before. Today is an opportunity to raise awareness around substance use disorders and break down the stigma around drug use, addiction, and drug-related death.
In addition, September will mark the first official Recovery Month in Ontario. This is a month to raise awareness around addiction, and to spread the message that people can recover, treatment works, and that stigma needs to be challenged. We encourage all caucus members to help end the stigma around recovery and treatment and raise awareness using the materials below.
- Today, Ontario is joining organizations around the world in recognizing International Overdose Awareness Day — a day to raise awareness of substance use disorders and break down the stigma around drug use, addiction, and drug-related death.
- We encourage all Ontarians to acknowledge the grief felt by those who are mourning loved ones, provide support and encouragement to one another, raise awareness, and learn about the available resources to educate people who use drugs and to prevent overdose.
- Our government has been laser-focused on enhancing access to evidence-based, high-quality addictions services and ensuring the availability of needed supports across the continuum of care.
- This includes an additional $32.7 million in ongoing annual funding that we announced in July for targeted addictions services and supports, including treatment for opioid addictions.
- There are many ways to show your support to those experiencing the grief of losing someone to an overdose. Help us start the conversation by using the hashtag #IOAD2021 and/or #EndOverdose throughout the day, and let’s end the stigma around addictions and recovery.