The Overdose Prevention and Education Network of Niagara (OPENN) formed in 2016 to respond to overdoses in Niagara, including the opioid overdose crisis. In 2020, OPENN released its Substance Use Prevention Strategy.

The strategy is based on consultations with key groups; a literature review to identify positive effects of prevention activities on reducing substance use; and a community survey.

Themes arose from consultations with 2 key groups:

  • People with lived experience and their family members:
    • Invest in activities that address root causes of problematic substance use (trauma and other mental health concerns, lack of housing and employment, social isolation and early initiation of substance use);
    • Work toward meeting the demand for new and existing client-centred services in Niagara
    • Reduce stigma and level up the understanding of reasons, risks and evidence-based interventions for substance use across Niagara’s
    • Support the development of a sense of purpose and skills for life in people in Niagara
  • OPENN members (people from prevention, harm reduction, treatment and enforcement agencies) cited:
    • Partner effectively
    • Prioritize people with lived experience and community engagement
    • Develop an education strategy
    • Evidence-informed, upstream approaches

Published by: Overdose Prevention and Education Network of Niagara (OPENN)

Publication Date: January, 2020

Click here to view: OPENN Substance Use Prevention Strategy


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