The Network of Participants in the Waterloo Region Integrated Drugs Strategy (each colour represents a different sector; each circle represents an individual).
Please check out the full Evaluation Framework courtesy of the O'Halloran Group.
About the Drugs Strategy:
The strategy, developed by a 26-member Task Force of the Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council in consultation with more than 300 citizens and service providers, draws on a framework that incorporates 5 approaches across 99 recommendations. The recommendations, spanning public education, health care, and government policy, are intended to have positive health, social, and financial outcomes.
The 4 Pillars
The recommendations are based on 4 pillars strategically suited to creating change in the Waterloo Region. The 4 pillars approach to drug use was first implemented in Europe in the 1990s, and is based on the following principles:
- Harm Reduction
- Recovery and Rehabilitation
- Enforcement and Justice.
The fifth principle is Integration.
The goal of this pillar is to reduce the harms to individuals and communities resulting from problematic substance use. Led by the Region of Waterloo Public Health Department this committee is currently working to increase sector capacity across harm reduction programs and services. They are also working to raise harm reduction awareness and reduce drug related stigma.
The prevention pillar includes interventions that seek to prevent or delay the onset of substance use and address root causes of use. This pillar committee is currently working to develop school and community curriculum to prevent and reduce the use of alcohol and drugs among youth.
Recovery and Rehabilitation
The recovery and rehabilitation committee is working to improve the physical and emotional well-being of people who use or have used substances. They are currently addressing gaps in treatment including more complex behaviors that result at the intersection of substance use and mental health including meth use.
Enforcement and Justice
This pillar committee is addressing community safety to address crime and community disorder as a result of substance use. It includes partnerships with the police, courts, corrections and community reintegration services. This committee is looking at the Seattle based LEAD program (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) as a possible best practice to divert those using substances to get the assistance and treatment they need.
The Waterloo Region Integrated Drugs Strategy Steering Committee and the Coordinator tie the strategy together at the intersection of services, programs, policies and work that crosses the four pillar committees.