PDS In Action

A Question of Care

A Question of Care is a local-capacity building initiative focused on building and strengthening skills, knowledge, and awareness to address the intersections between trauma, stigma, substance use, and mental illness by creating space for mutual learning, respectful dialogue, and fostering collaboration between professionals.

We are currently working to enhance the Question of Care project to further meet the needs of professionals and organizations in our community with funding from a local family foundation. We will be establishing a financially sustainable model for the project that will no longer be reliant on grants.

For more information or to see the training schedule, visit http://questionofcare.com/

Peterborough Community Cannabis Project

Similar to our opioid project in 2017-18, beginning in 2018 until 2020 we will be working to support Peterborough City and County to meet the information needs of helping professionals and the public through the transition to legalization. Stay tuned for details.

PDS Panel

The PDS Panel is an opportunity for people with lived experience related to substance use, to use to their experiences to help inform local program, policies and initiatives. It is also an opportunity for organizations to get feedback on their activities and help tweak them to meet the needs of people with lived experience.

During this one year pilot (2017-18), we have set up the panel and are offering its services to organizations that are members of PDS. We hope to receive the second phase of funding later in 2018 and will expand the services beyond PDS partners to any interested organization in the community.

This project has been generously funded by:

Past Project: Peterborough Regional Overdose Preparedness Project

The Peterborough Police Service with PDS and other supporting organizations received funding in July 2017 from Proceeds of Crime Front-Line Policing program to support the harm reduction work already happening in our community.

From September 2017 to March 2018, PDS undertook a number of project components to meet identified harm reduction needs in our community. These activities included:

  • Supporting local pharmacists to distribute naloxone in their pharmacies
  • A local training schedule of opioid training for employees at risk of needing to respond to an onsite overdose at work.
    • Training for service providers and specialized training for establishments that serve alcohol
    • The training model created through this grant will continue to offer training beyond the end of the funding timeframe
  • Development of informational resources that respond to community requests, including,
    • Information Sheets
    • A policy document to help agencies develop a first-aid response policy to opioid overdoses
  • Access to local online information about opioids

Click here to view our PROP Impact Report

Past Project: Emergency Department Naloxone Access Project

The Peterborough Police Service with PDS and other supporting organizations received funding in August 2016 from Proceeds of Crime Front-Line Policing program to work with the Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) to implement a naloxone distribution kit program through the emergency department.

Project Background

In recent years, deaths resulting from opioid overdoses have been increasing and setting records. Most of the 5000 Ontarians who have died of opioid overdose since 2000 have died accidentally. These accidental overdoses are the 3rd leading cause of unintentional death in Ontario, more than double the number of traffic fatalities.

Naloxone is used as an antidote to opioid overdose. Opioids (such as morphine, heroin, methadone, oxycodone, and fentanyl) can slow or halt breathing and result in unconsciousness. The administration of naloxone can reverse these effects and prevent brain damage or even death.

Research shows that with minimal training, people with no medical background can recognize and treat an overdose with naloxone as successfully as a healthcare provider. Additionally, individuals are empowered by the ability to save a life and programs like this help reduce stigma towards people who use drugs matter. The use of Naloxone does not replace the need for emergency medical care but instead it prolongs the time that the individual has before long-term effects are irreversible.

Naloxone Overdose Prevention Kits are an evidence-based approach proven to have positive benefits and are sought after by our communities. In order to effectively treat opioid addiction, we must help ensure that the individuals who use opioids are alive to receive treatment.

What is the Project?

Through this partnership in the Peterborough community, the emergency department will train its staff to give individuals who come into the emergency room and are at risk for opioid overdose a take-home Naloxone kit. The goal of the project is to arm individuals who are at risk for overdose and their families with this tool that has the capability of saving a life.  

If you or a family member use opioids, you don’t need to visit the emergency room to get a kit. Visit our Overdose Information page for more information about where you can get a FREE kit in the community.

Past Project: Challenge, Beliefs, Change (CBC)

CBC is a program that connects senior high school students to grade 8 feeder school classrooms so that high school students can facilitate a discussion about substance use, internet safety and making healthy choices. Most of this information is conveyed through hands on activities that are engaging, interactive and interesting to both the facilitators and the students. The students are accompanied by the school liaison officer and student success teacher from the high school who sit in the back of the class as support for the peer leaders.

The program started in 1985 by Parent Action on Drugs {link to Parent Action on Drugs} and aims to increase knowledge and awareness of personal beliefs regarding substances and substance use; build skills, confidence and resiliency for dealing with teen challenges; foster positive relationships among youth, schools and the broader community and aid in the transition to high school. It emphasizes a non-judgmental atmosphere where youth can openly share their opinions rather than a ‘don’t do drugs’ approach.

The program creates an opportunity for grade 8 students to:

  • Connect with high school students who will be at their school the following year
  • Have the opportunity to meet support staff and make an early connection (student success teacher and school liaison officer)
  • Ease the transition to high school
  • Learn important information in a fun and enjoyable environment 
  • Make a positive connection to a Peterborough police officer

High School Peer Leaders also have the opportunity to benefit by:

  • Increasing their confidence in public speaking
  • Receiving substance use education
  • Exploring the opportunity to be a role model for younger students
  • Making connections with students who will be in their school the following year
  • Getting involved in their community

Student Success Teachers benefit by:                                                         

  • Developing strong relationships with peer leaders and students alike
  • Collaborating with other community agencies (e.g. Parent Action on Drugs, police services, Peterborough Public Health, etc.)
  • Having the opportunity to visit the feeder schools and connect with future grade 9 students

During the 2015/16 program data was collected to evaluate the program and a report was published in Fall 2016. To see the executive summary of the evaluation, click here {insert evaluation exec summary}.

Past Project: Strengthening Families for Parents and Youth

Up to 2015, PDS implemented the Strengthening Families for Parents and Youth (SFPY) program in Peterborough. SFPY is a great program that comes from Parent Action on Drugs {insert link to PAD} and aims to improve communication between parents and teens. Topics covered included communication, praise, stress management and other topics that impact family relationships.

Benefits for Parents*:

  • Learn to understand where their teen is coming from.
  • Improve communication.
  • Find fresh approaches to old problems.
  • Set the stage for positive discipline.
  • Ensure a consistent approach to guiding their teen’s behaviour.

Benefits for Teens*:

  • Learn to understand their parents’ concerns.
  • Improve communication.
  • Build social skills to help them make good decisions that will
    support their well-being and mental health.

* http://www.parentactionondrugs.org/pad-sfpy/

Past Project: Life Unleashed

Life Unleashed was a speakers group made up of youth who have experiences with alcohol and drug use and/or mental health who volunteer to share their stories of adversity, challenge and change. The individuals participate in trainings over several months and once they are ready they may have the opportunity to speak in front of audiences in Peterborough to share their experiences.

This program aims to build public speaking skills for the youth and empower them to share their experiences while providing audiences (often younger youth) with insightful reflections.