Panel discusses opioid crisis, addiction issues in Windsor
'When we put our heads together we can find a solution'
Eight Windsor agencies got together Wednesday evening to talk about the opioid crisis and addiction issues with a panel of professionals.
"We're not sure how we fix this problem but we know that people watching and hopefully coming in today will have the resources to help figure out how to fix the problem," said Melissa Simpson Grant, a teacher and a member of the Human Rights Committee.
Representatives from the withdrawal management program at Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, the Windsor Life Centre, Brentwood Recovery Home, Windsor Overdose Prevention Society, WE Trans Support and the AIDS Committee of Windsor all spoke at the Addiction Crisis Awareness Symposium.
Jayce Carver, the executive director of WE Trans Support said the system needs to be more inclusive of transgender people.
"Much of the model that exists currently for addressing addiction services wants you to live on the binary, and that means only male and female identities exist and what we know is that's wrong," said Carver.
Carver added that two professional counsellors hired by WE Trans Support have seen about 3,200 people come in for help over the past year.
"Many of those are repeat clients but that means that they've found something there that's working for them," said Carver.
Marc Zakoor, the male youth counsellor at the Brentwood Recovery Home said that teens are turning to drugs as a means of escape.
"[The] family system is definitely breaking down," said Zakoor. "Life doesn't feel good so they reach out to the drug to feel good."
The event was organized by the Human Rights Committee of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario. The committee will make a donation to each organization that participated in the panel.