CK Drug Awareness Council Prez says drug strategy is failing. May 26, 2017. (Photo by Paul Pedro)

Opioid Crisis Being Dubbed AIDS Epidemic Of Our Generation

The Chatham-Kent Drug Awareness Council president says the municipal drug strategy is not working because it lacks clout and funding.

Ron Paterson says the mayor and the police chief must get more involved to attract more funds to prevent addiction and overdoses.

CK Drug Awareness Council Prez says drug strategy is failing. May 26, 2017. (Photo by Paul Pedro)

CK Drug Awareness Council Prez says drug strategy is failing. May 26, 2017. (Photo by Paul Pedro)

The opioid crisis is being dubbed by some as the AIDS epidemic of our generation, and some in the drug education field are critical of the provincial opioid strategy saying it does very little to solve the problem.

Paterson says all but two drug strategies in Ontario are failing those in need when they need them most.

“They’re doing a review through the university of Toronto of all the drug strategies across the province to see what happened and why they aren’t working as well as they should be and what we can do different to make them work,” says Paterson.

The Drug Awareness Council says Chatham-Kent has a big Hepatitis C and crystal meth problem.

August 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day.

Paterson says the drug strategies that are working have the power of municipal or city councils behind them.

“When you have the power of council you have the money strings and the power to change policies and without that it’s hard to make anything happen because we can suggest anything but you have to have the funding and the power to carry that out,” Paterson says.

Paterson says there’s too much stigma surrounding drug addiction and education is desperately needed.

“A lot of times they’re stigmatized because the person says here’s another addict looking for some drugs.¬† A lot of times they’ll be the first one to be rushed off someplace else to get them out of the ER or they’ll put them at the back of the pile so they’ll go home before they get to see a doctor,” says Paterson.