New Harm Reduction toolkit aims to reduce opioid deaths for Urban Indigenous people – Anishinabek News

March 28, 2023

TORONTO, ON – The Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC) is launching a new harm reduction toolkit to address the growing opioid crisis in urban Indigenous communities.

“Opioid related deaths and infection rates are a growing concern for Urban Indigenous communities,” said Gertie Mai Muise, the CEO of the OFIFC. “We are equipping Friendship Centres across Ontario with a toolkit designed to give workers the harm-reduction tools and best practices they need to help save lives.”

Some Friendship Centre communities are also dealing with rapidly increasing HIV infections, largely attributed to needle sharing and the limited availability of harm reduction and treatment services. Last year, the Northwestern Health Unit reported nine cases of new HIV infections in Kenora – more than in the previous eight years combined.

But Ne-Chee Friendship Centre in Kenora believes these numbers are much higher and are not capturing new infections in the Urban Indigenous Community.

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