Expanding Access to Opioid Treatment

The Mississauga Halton LHIN and partners are providing additional resources and supports for opioid treatment

Oakville (May 6, 2013) – People with opioid addiction will have better access to treatment as local partners work to build bridges and enhance the treatment system for residents in our community.

The Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) is taking action to address the serious issue of opioid addiction through a $1.5 million investment focused on developing common care pathways and increasing access to treatment.

An extensive consultation facilitated by the Mississauga Halton LHIN brought together funded and non-funded partners including ADAPT (Halton Alcohol, Drug and Gambling Assessment Prevention & Treatment Services), The Peel Addiction Assessment and Referral Centre (PAARC), Hope Place Centres, the Salvation Army in Mississauga and various experts in opioid treatment to put together a proposal that connects and expands services. 

Advisor, advocate and person with lived experience Betty-Lou Kristy participated in the consultations providing first-hand knowledge as a mother who lost her son to an accidental OxyContin overdose. Kristy explained, “Sadly, opioids have changed the landscape of addiction; families, unborn children, young people, right through to our seniors – all are potentially impacted, so effective care, choice and building awareness are imperative to educate and protect our communities.”
Betty-Lou Kristy continues to be a valued voice encouraging change and awareness of the devastating impacts of opioids in Ontario. “Throughout the development of this Mississauga Halton LHIN funded opioid proposal, I was heard.  I am confident that the amount of passion, collaboration, partnering and networking has created a unique expansion of opioid services that are effective, inclusive and will address stigma,” said Kristy.

This support for opioid treatment will enable 10 frontline staff including case managers and outreach workers to be hired. In addition to providing direct client services, the new staff will focus on developing common care pathways or standards of care so that people receive or are referred to the same type of care based on their needs regardless of which provider they are dealing with – regardless of through which door they have entered the system.

“This is an innovative initiative that will ensure we work together making it easier for those seeking treatment for opioid addiction to get the vital support they need,” said Graeme Goebelle, Board Chair of the Mississauga Halton LHIN. “The Mississauga Halton LHIN is committed to building partnerships to improve access to health care and promote optimal health – mental and physical in our communities.”

Pregnant and parenting women with opioid addictions will be among those supported through this funding. This is a particularly vulnerable, high-risk group, many who find themselves in shelters without the treatment they need. Outreach workers will be hired to serve as that crucial link between the shelters and the treatment system. They will help women obtain the treatment they need and offer further support by navigating the system, serving as links to additional social services such as the Children’s Aid Society.

Further, two additional residential treatment beds have been created, one for men and one for women at Hope Place Centres which will help serve more people seeking recovery.

Opioids have huge complexities requiring multiple levels of expertise to treat successfully. There are many people currently working hard to provide opioid treatment and address the prevalence of opioid use. This new funding will assist in the creation of formal linkages between providers within the Mississauga Halton LHIN, making the system more efficient, coordinated and accessible consequently helping people seeking opioid addiction treatment access the key supports they need to make the greatest difference.


“Opioid addiction is a growing problem for families in our community and in particular amongst young people. This welcome funding strengthens the connections between local treatment programs in order to provide more capacity and access.”
― Kevin Flynn, MPP, Oakville


"This unique initiative to improve access to much needed treatment for opioid addiction is in line with our government’s commitment to help the most vulnerable. Working together with our region's partners, we can continue to improve the quality of life for residents in Mississauga."
― Dipika Damerla, MPP, Mississauga East-Cooksville


“The new funding for opioid treatment will allow for much needed services for a historically underserved, needy and deserving population.”
― Ian Stewart, Executive Director, Adapt


Opioid Facts

According to First Do No Harm: Responding to Canada’s Prescription Drug Crisis:

  • Canada has the second-highest level of prescription opioid use globally, with a total of 26,380 Standardized Defined Daily Doses (S-DDD) of prescription opioids consumed in 2008–2010 (International Narcotics Control Board, 2011). This consumption represents a 203% increase from the 8,713 S-DDD consumed during 2000–2002, which is an increase steeper than that observed in the United States (Fischer & Argento, 2012).


According to The Way Forward: Stewardship for Prescription Narcotics in Ontario:

  • Ontario has the highest rate of prescription narcotic use in Canada. In fact, the province’s rate is two to four times higher than in any other province. Prescription narcotics are increasingly recognized as one of the primary forms of illicit drug use – even over heroin and other street drugs.
  • Between 1991 and 2009, prescriptions for oxycodone-containing products rose by 900 per cent.
  • Since 2004, the number of oxycodone-related deaths has nearly doubled.
  • From 2004-2008, admissions to publicly funded treatment and addiction services doubled for narcotics abuse.

According to Drug Use Among Ontario Students 1977- 2011:

  • In 2011, the use of prescription pain killers ranked 4th to alcohol, caffeine and cannabis among Ontario students in grades 7-12.

According to The Halton Youth Survey Community Profile 2012-2013:

  • 11% of Grade 10 students have used illegal opioid pain pills in the past year.

The Mississauga Halton LHIN

  • The $1.5 million is part of the overall $8,819,500 investment for new and expanded community health services that meet pressing local health care needs announced on November 16, 2012 by the LHIN: Keeping Ontarians Healthier at Home in Mississauga Halton LHIN .
  • The $1.5 million funding for support of opioid treatment within the Mental Health and Addictions sector will help provide services to approximately 470 additional clients per year.
  • The Mississauga Halton LHIN continues to focus efforts to ensure we are providing the right care in the right place at the right time.
  • The Mississauga Halton LHIN serves the communities of Oakville, Milton, Halton Hills, Mississauga and South Etobicoke and is the province’s second smallest LHIN in geographical size and the fifth largest in population. It had the highest growth rate in population (12%) from 2006 to 2011 and includes the fastest growing community in Canada – the town of Milton. 


Read more about the Mississauga Halton LHIN at:

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Maureen Buchanan
Sr. Lead, Communications
Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network
T: 905-337-8060; Cell: 416-818-3087 |


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