Our History

Our History

PDS Lived Experience Advisory Panel


PDS is able to re-launch the Lived Experience Advisory Panel, a platform where people with lived and living experience (PWLE) of substance use were paid to leverage their experiences to help shape local programs, policies, and initiatives. The panel offered organizations an invaluable opportunity to receive feedback on their activities and make necessary adaptations to more effectively serve the needs of individuals who have navigated experiences with substance use. Learn more here.

PDS Housing Report


The Peterborough Drug Strategy (PDS) conducted a housing research project between September 2022 and April 2023. PDS is a community-based organization focused on reducing the harms of substance use and it is well known that the drug poisoning epidemic intersects with the housing and homelessness crisis, and the mental health crisis – you cannot really talk about one without the other. Learn more here.

CTS is Funded!


After 4+ years of hard work amongst PDS Partners, the Consumption and Treatment Site (CTS) is funded and opens to the public, fully staffed with a full complement of health and support service professionals. Learn more here.

Mobile Support Overdose Resource Team (MSORT)


MSORT was a collaborative pilot project serving people in Peterborough City and County with the intent to reduce overdoses and minimize the risk of harms related to overdose and substance use, especially opioids. The project was designed to enhance our community’s response to the opioid/drug poisoning/overdose crisis, helping to fill gaps and working alongside the Consumption and Treatment Services Site (CTS) in Peterborough. PDS played a supportive role with knowledge translation and evaluation of the project.

For more information, visit our MSORT page.

Housing Unit Takeovers (HUTs) Project


The Housing Unit Takeover (HUTs) Project focused on research, education, and the creation of a manual intended to help collate existing tools and resources as well as provide some Peterborough Kawartha-specific context for use by PDS members, regional partners, and organizations. Learn more here.

Question of Care Business Plan & Evaluation Framework


With funding from Innoweave, QoC worked with a social enterprise coach to help solidify its business plan to ensure the future sustainability of the program, including evaluating the impacts. Learn more here.

PDS Strategic Planning Framework


The PDS Strategic Planning Framework was finalized in 2019 and was based on a consultation process that engaged stakeholders throughout the City and County. Based on the information that we gathered from our consultations, we defined our mission, approach, values, and four strategic focus areas. The plan includes recommendations for action and identifies pathways to improve prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and enforcement efforts in the community.

Peterborough Community Cannabis Project


PDS supported helping professionals and members of the public in Peterborough City and County with evidence-based information and supports as we transitioned to legal cannabis for non-medical use. Learn more here.

PDS Panel Pilot Project


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

Over the course of a one-year pilot project (2017-18), we established the panel, which offered consulting services to PDS member organizations. This project was generously funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

The panel was later re-launched in 2022. Learn more here.

Peterborough Regional Overdose Preparedness Project


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

Emergency Department Naloxone Access Project


The Peterborough Police Service with PDS and other supporting organizations received funding in August 2016 from the 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 hospital’s emergency department. Learn more here.

A Question of Care (QoC)


A Question of Care (QoC) is launched in 2015 as an awareness campaign and training initiative for helping professionals in Peterborough. It continues to this day as a local capacity-building initiative focused on building and strengthening skills, knowledge, and awareness to address the intersections between substance use, stigma, mental illness, and trauma. Learn more and view upcoming training sessions here.

Youth Projects


Between 2013 and 2015, the Peterborough Drug Strategy successfully implemented several community-based projects designed to address substance use among youth. These projects included Challenges, Beliefs, Change (CBC), Strengthening Families for Parents and Youth (SFPY), and Life Unleashed, Learn more here.

Building the Foundation for Wellness Strategic Plan


PDS Launches Building the Foundation to Wellness: A Strategic Plan to help identify community priorities and guide our work. This was later replaced by the PDS Strategic Planning Framework in 2019.

PDS Established


PDS was established in 2009 by four partnering organizations: Peterborough Public Health, PARN – Your Community AIDS Resource Network, Four Counties Addiction Service Team, and Peterborough Police Service. These organizations were united in their view that collaboration around how addiction is addressed in our community is crucial to supporting the needs of individuals who use substances as well as their families and support people.

4 Counties Harm Reduction Coalition (4CHRC)


The 4 Counties Harm Reduction Coalition (4CHRC) was founded in 2008 to promote the health, safety, and dignity of individuals and communities affected by the continuum of drug and/or alcohol use in Haliburton, Peterborough, and Northumberland Counties and in the City of Kawartha Lakes.

The Need for a Community-Wide Protocol


During the summer of 2005, the Four Counties Needle Exchange Coalition, which had been in operation since 1997, reported an increase in the number and severity of complaints of found needles on both public and private properties. The Health Hazards program staff agreed to facilitate consultations with representatives from: the City and County of Peterborough, municipal and provincial police forces, the Four Counties Needle Exchange Coalition, Emergency Medical Services, and the Peterborough County-City Health Unit, with the goal of developing a community-wide protocol for the referral, safe handling, and disposal of found used needles and/or sharps.