Statement from Dr. Matthew Tenenbaum on International Overdose Awareness Day

August 31, 2022

Drug overdoses were a painful reality in our community before COVID-19, but the pandemic has made this reality worse. While much of our attention was focused on fighting this global virus, the most vulnerable in our society dealt with isolation, lack of awareness and reallocation of resources that exacerbated the ongoing challenge of supporting those caught in an epidemic of drug overdoses. Overdoses have impacted all sectors of our community and that is why working to keep an awareness on this societal challenge is timely and worthwhile.

We must continue to bring resources, data and understanding to bear on this and other complex issues in ways that centre those affected to ensure an equitable and healthier future. WDG Public Health will continue to partner with the many community agencies who are involved directly with the people and places experiencing overdose emergencies. Our agency currently works with partners across the area to send out Health Alerts when we know there has been an increase in overdose that may be due to tainted drugs on the streets of our communities.

There is so much to focus on as we move into the fall season and navigate back to school and the end of summer. One focus we must maintain is our awareness of the impact of overdoses on the lives of everyone in every sector of society.

Dr. Matthew Tenenbaum, MD CCFP MPH FRCPC

Associate Medical Officer of Health