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Canadian Champion (Milton, ON), 21 Nov 2019, p. 14

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| 14 mber 21, 2019 [) > 0 Z > © ° on -- S Mf Milton Canadian Champion -------------------------------------------------------- el ------------- ee --------r---------------- 1 COUNCIL INEXPENSIVE KITS COULD SAVE LIVES, £ COUNCIL HEARS MELANIE HENNESSEY mhennessey@ A local harm reduction advocate is calling on Hal- ton Region to provide fen- tanyl test Kits to drug users in the hopes of preventing overdoses and deaths. Alexander Kinkade -- founder of -- made the request during a recent regional council meeting, where he stressed the importance of taking steps to combat the local ef- fects of opioids. "Many people in the community that we know, care for and love are dying from overdoses at such a rate that we should not find acceptable," he said, point- ing to the 40 opioid-related 2019 Christmas Songboo HE ISSUE OPIOID OVERDOSES IN HALTON. LOCAL IMPACT. HALTON - /REGION CONSIDERS PROVIDING FENTANYL TEST KITS TO DRUG USERS -- A MOVE THAT COULD PREVENT OVERDOSES AND DEATHS IF IMPLEMENTED. deaths in Halton last year. "I'd like test kits to be pro- vided to users to ensure safe consumption because naloxone kits, medical in- tervention and funerals are not needed when an is- sue can be prevented." Kinkade, who experi- enced a personal loss due Will be available after December Sth. Limited copies available, hurry to reserve your copy, just email: Please include "Songbook" in the subject line Champion. to an opioid overdose, ex- plained the kits would al- . low users to test their own drugs for fentanyl -- a deadly substance used by dealers to make things like heroin and cocaine stron- ger -- and then decide whether to ingest the sub- stance or not. "People are going to use _ drugs or narcotics, wheth- . er they're illegal or legal," he said. "This (test kit) is a means of preventing death up until they reach out for help on their own." He said the kits, which usually cost $1 to $2, could be distributed through places such as pharmacies or needle exchange pre- grams. "I, for one, argue that a human life is worth that much," he added. Halton commissioner and Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hamidah Megh- ani said the health depart- ment shares Kinkade's HALTON URGED TO ADDRESS OVERDOSES WITH DRUG TEST KITS % ® ® Torstar file photo A fentarf§l test kit can detect the powerful opioid in samples of other drugs. concerns. "Deaths related to opioid overdoses are pre- ventable and we take this work very seriously," she told council. Currently, Halton oper- ates a harm reduction pro- gram with two community outreach workers who pro- oy. Get your coupon at vide provincially-funded safe drug equipment for lo- cal users, along with edu- cational materials and nec- essary referrals. The fenta- nyl test kits are provided by the province -- at no cost -- to health units that offer overdose prevention/ safe injection sites, but #SavingWithSave arth SPP 75¢ on any one (1) Bertolli" Olive Oil or Table Olive. Halton doesn't have one, explained Meghani. Halton staff will now ex- amine the feasibility and fi- nancial implications of having the region provide the kits and report back to council at a later date. Oakvillg Coun. Jeff _ Knoll deemed the kits a de- cent stop-gap measure and said he hopes the region can expedite the initiative. Councillors also re- ceived a report with afi up- date on how the region is using $150,000 in provincial funding for harm reduc- tion programming, which includes community nal- oxone distribution, opioid- related surveillance and a plan for local opioid re- sponse. For more information visit ------------------ rm -------- | STORY BEHIND THE STORY With 40 opioid-related deaths in Halton last year, our newsroom continues to closely follow all | aspects of this important issue. ------------------------. Ww e We We W Am ee he A a a eh El elle Cut out paying more Your only destination for more coupons, more flyers, more EVE CO St SA SC - EE EE. ed EE SS pp

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