Let’s Talk about drug and alcohol misuse UpdateThursday, January 31, 2013 by: Kate AdamsMeeting rescheduled for Wednesday February 6th @ 7:00 pm at Br. 23 Royal Canadian Legion
The North Bay and area Drug Strategy Committee along with the local Mayors from Mattawa, Callander, West Nipissing and North Bay are hosting as series of public forums to deal with drug and alcohol misuse in our area. The purpose of the meetings is to provide the general public with an opportunity to let the committee know what drug and alcohol issues may exist in your community, what you feel are the causes of these issues and what you see as potential solutions.
“Every community has some form of drug and alcohol misuse and it is not unique to our area,” stated North Bay Mayor McDonald. “We cannot overlook the issues and we have to deal with the perceptions that exist and develop a strategy based on fact rather than perception. It is essential that we hear from the public and have their input into the Drug Strategy so that nothing is missed as we move forward.”
The Town of Mattawa has taken a significant step forward with the development of children, youth and family programming as part of the municipality’s annual plan, but more needs to be done. Mayor Backer of Mattawa feels that enforcement is only part of the solution and by getting feedback from citizens, we can take into consideration their issues as we move forward with the development of a strategy. “There is a stigma surrounding drug and alcohol misuse that only criminals are the issue. Drug and alcohol misuse is a disorder that people from a wide variety of areas have to deal with and it is our hope that through these consultations we will be receive valuable input that can be incorporated into a regional perspective.”
“There is so much information available and services for those directly and indirectly exposed to drug and alcohol misuse and it is incumbent upon us as elected officials to ensure that our citizens are made aware of what is available. Help is available. People just have to know where they can find it and it our hope that people will come out to the public sessions so that we can seek their input and provide them with information on services that might be available to them,” said Mayor Lavigne of Callander.
“Our Police Service provides excellent prevention programs for our youth,” explained Mayor Savage of West Nipissing, “but by all four municipalities working together, we can have a much more significant impact on understanding and addressing the many issues that drug and alcohol misusers are dealing with.”
All four Mayors have agreed to act as champions for this project as they have a genuine desire to see a collaborative approach to understanding and addressing the issues and developing with solutions that will benefit all communities.
Meetings will take place as follows:
North Bay - January 30th – 7:00 – Br. 23 Royal Cdn. Legion
Callander – January 31st – 7:00 – Council Chambers
Mattawa – February 4th – 7:00 – Town Hall
West Nipissing – February 7th – 7:00 – Public Library auditorium
The respective Mayors will be present at their municipality’s meetings.
For more information, you can contact the Drug Committee office at 705-472-7041