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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Opioids - What are we doing?

Representatives from across our community have committed to working together in an effort to find ways to address London’s multiple overlapping drug-related crises. Below you will find a summary of the ongoing work taking place in London.


Opioid Crisis Working Group

The Opioid Crisis Working Group includes representatives from The City of London, Middlesex-London Health Unit, Regional HIV AIDS Connection (RHAC), London InterCommunity Health Centre (LIHC), Addiction Services of Thames Valley, London Police Service, London CARes, Southwest LHIN, London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), EMS, as well as an Indigenous community leader and a person with lived experience.

The work of the Opioid Crisis Working Group is currently focused on guiding the public consultation process related to Supervised Consumption Facilities in Middlesex-London.


Evaluation of London's Temporary Overdose Prevention Site

Saving Lives. Changing Lives. Findings from an Evaluation of London's Temporary Overdose Prevention Site

Comprehensive Report (PDF)

Summary Report (PDF)

Supervised Consumption Facilities: Community Consultation Report

The report includes data that was gathered from 334 people who took part in nine community consultations held in November 2017; as well as the more than 2,000 responses to an online survey and four focus groups that included 56 participants representing the Indigenous community, peers and professionals.

Download (PDF)


Naloxone Program

The Middlesex-London Health Unit, Regional HIV/AIDS Connection (RHAC), London Area Network of Substance Users and the London InterCommunity Health Centre (LIHC) launched The Naloxone Program in June of 2014. This collaborative effort is supported by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The intention of this multi-agency partnership is to prevent opioid overdose and save lives. Learn more →

Outreach Team ("Street Nursing")

The Middlesex-London Health Unit's Outreach Team participates in locating, engaging, educating, and ultimately linking people to care, treatment and basic needs programs (i.e. housing, London InterCommunity Health Centre, Infectious Diseases Care Program, etc.). The end goal of the team is to help decrease the spread of disease and support clients through their continuum of care. The team creates an environment where clients feel supported enough to reach their treatment goals.

Needle Syringe Program

The Needle Syringe Program is a community collaboration that provides a variety of services to clients. These services include distribution of new injection and safer inhalation equipment, disposal of used equipment, naloxone and training to help prevent overdoses, education and information about safe injection or inhalation practices and referrals to support services and organizations in the community.

Middlesex-London Community Drug and Alcohol Strategy

The Middlesex-London Community Drug and Alcohol Strategy (CDAS) is a collaboratively developed, long-term strategy to prevent and reduce the harms of substance use in London and Middlesex County. The Strategy consists of 23 recommendations and 98 associated actions, with 59 of these actions prioritized for the first three years. The full strategy report, Middlesex-London Community Drug and Alcohol Strategy – A Foundation for Action, was launched in 2018. The full report and information related to the Strategy, can be found on the CDAS website. The Middlesex-London Community Drug and Alcohol Strategy Status Report (2019/2020) (PDF) was released in May 2020 providing an update on community actions and successes achieved to date.

Safer Consumption Practices

With the increases in HIV, Hepatitis C and iGAS rates, messages were developed to educate and promote harm reduction practices for people who inject drugs (PWIDs), including the use of clean injection equipment at every use. Messaging was also created to educate PWIDs about some of the warning signs of conditions that require immediate medical assistance that can arise from injection drug use.

Needle Recovery

Each year in London, more than 3 million clean needles are distributed to people who inject drugs; of these, about 60% are recovered.

  • Free and confidential needle exchange services are available at Regional HIV/AIDS Connection (RHAC), the Middlesex-London Health Unit and My Sister’s Place.
  • Well-marked stationary needle disposal bins in several public areas collect discarded needles and syringes; they also assist with overall recovery of used injection drug equipment. See the list of stationary needle disposal bin locations and learn more about the safe handling and disposal of needles.

If needles are found on public property:
If needles are found on public property, please call 519-661-2489 ext. 4965. This phone line is answered 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

Public Drug Use

People tend to use drugs in public areas, because they don’t otherwise have a safe location to do so. Supervised Consumption Facilities provide people with a safe and clean place to use drugs. This can reduce the risk of overdose and the spread of diseases, such as hepatitis C and HIV, and provides an opportunity to connect people who use drugs with treatment and support services in our community. In addition, in places where Supervised Consumption Facilities have been established, there has been a marked decrease in the number of used and discarded needles in the places they used to be found.

Date of creation: October 3, 2017
Last modified on: April 29, 2022