Windsor·Q&A

New opioid strategy good start, says harm reduction co-ordinator

The province announced Wednesday its plan that will update the health system when it comes to prescribing and dispensing of both opioids and other drugs used to treat addiction and overdose.

More needs to be done to help people with addiction, says Byron Klingbyle of AIDS Committee of Windsor

Byron Klingbyle, harm reduction co-ordinator with AIDS Committee of Windsor, says the government needs to support more addiction treatment centres in order to help addicts. (Rima Hamadi/CBC)

A harm-reduction service provider in Windsor applauds Ontario's health ministry for introducing a new opioid strategy that aims to combat addiction and overdose problems.

The government announced Wednesday its plan that will update the health system when it comes to prescribing and dispensing of both opioids and drugs used to treat addiction and overdose.

But more needs to be done to help people with addiction, says Byron Klingbyle, a harm reduction co-ordinator with AIDS Committee of Windsor.

It sounds like the province wants to get more serious about curbing opioid addiction and abuse. What are your initial thoughts?

I think it's a good start. It didn't mention anything about treatment centres and that's a big hole in addiction services. Somebody who wants to address their addiction issue, they have to wait two months to get into a treatment centre. By that time their mind has changed.

You recently saved someone's life using a naloxone kit. How important is naloxone when it comes to the province's strategy?

I think that's a huge importance. Making it widely available to anybody, not putting restrictions to just opioid dependent people, will get those kits into more hands, which will save more lives. 

What more would you like to see in this strategy?

I think methadone clinics are another good start, but counselling with the medication would be hugely helpful. Something has to be done. There is a huge opioid problem in Canada and the United States. And it's not just here, it's all over the world. People are dying, it's not just overdoses.

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