Call to Action: Sault Ste. Marie and Area Drug Strategy Committee


The Sault Ste. Marie and Area Drug Strategy Committee is pleased to announce the launch of its “Call To Action”, a report on the current state of the harms associated with substance use in our area. The report will be released to the public and community stakeholders this Wednesday, May 1st, at 5 PM in the Sault Ste. Marie Room at Algoma Public Health on Willow Ave. All are invited to attend.

Over the past six years, front-line workers and managers from 20 plus service providers working in addiction treatment, harm reduction, justice and enforcement, as well as, prevention and education, have been coming together to collaborate on reducing the harms associated with substance use in our community.

Over the past year, Algoma Family Services as the lead agency through funding from the Sault Ste. Marie District Social Services Administration Board has worked with the SSM and Area Drug Strategy Committee in gathering data, completing a literature review, interviewing service users and providers; as well as learning from the 37 other drug strategies around the province to produce this “Call To Action”. The report outlines a strategy of how stakeholders are attending to the substance use challenges in our community and the work required to make further progress.

With 62 recommendations, distilled down to 11 priorities, the Drug Strategy Coordinator, Charles Shamess, will work with the Drug Strategy Committee and community stakeholders to develop a work plan that will be accessible to the public through a soon to be released website. For the first time, the community at large will have access to the work being completed across our community service systems to address the substance use challenges we are facing.


  1. Addiction regardless of how it is formed is truly the inability to make a choice. No one who is addicted chooses to lose their family, their job, or their life because of substance use. The stigma attached to addiction is truly unfortunate. The person who is injured at work or has surgery can find themselves challenged by the pain. While medication is meant to be a bridge to assist with the recovery process it can also be a slippery slope when that pain does not go away. Too many lives have been destroyed by the power of these drugs. Too many people do not reach out for help because of the stigma attached to addiction. We need to make it easier for people to get help. What the drug strategy “Call To Action” does is challenge our thoughts on addiction and those who use substances.

  2. Talk is cheap. The only chance of helping a junkie is to form and hold them for mandatory treatment which the province cannot afford.

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