Timiskaming Health Unit unveils opioid dashboard

Jaime McKee

Plans are in place to launch an opioid surveillance and early warning system, which will give real-time data and notification to the community if there's a toxic supply, as well as any opioid-related events that take place. (File)

Videojournalist, CTVNorthernOntario.ca

The Timiskaming Health Unit is rolling out an opioid surveillance dashboard to help inform the community about the opioid situation in the district. It’s a way to share with the public the harmful substances that are in the area. The opioid surveillance dashboard is a part of the local health unit’s opioid response plan. “It provides a broader picture of the opioid situation in the district,” said Kim Peters, of the Timiskaming Health Unit.

“Anyone can access that data — community members, community partners, different agencies. It’s available to inform and update everyone on the current situation.”

Peters said harmful substances are circulating in the community and people must be made aware. “It’s difficult to identify trends in our area because of our small situation but we are certainly not immune to the problem,” she said. “Rates of opioid use and opioid deaths are rising across the province and the country and certainly the same case in our area.” The information on the dashboard is gathered from provincial sources, local emergency services, partner agencies and tips from the community.


“All of that informs us with a big picture of what’s going on,” Peters said. “We want the message to get out, but we also want the information to be available to those who use drugs, so they can make an informed decision and take precaution when needed and reduce their risk of overdose and poisonings.” Peters said the health unit’s drug and alcohol strategy team is also working on ways on reducing harmful drugs and substances that are in the community.

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