Released on March 3, 2022
The Saskatchewan Drug Task Force today released its community engagement results, identifying priorities to help reduce the number of overdose deaths in the province.
Consultations included a wide range of partners to help map out a path forward. Input came from municipal leaders, First Nations and Métis organizations, community organizations, advocates, health and social work professional associations, and most importantly, people with lived experience and their families.
“We recognize the urgent need to address addictions and overdoses in our province, and we are committed to finding solutions to meet these challenges,” Mental Health and Addictions Minister Everett Hindley said. “I’d like to thank the Drug Task Force and participants for their work on the consultations and most importantly a thank you to the individuals and organizations that shared their experiences and advice. This is not simply a health, police or mental health issue – it will take everyone working together to address it.”
Priorities that emerged from the consultations and from discussions at the Drug Task Force include hotspotting (strategies to help people at highest risk in specific geographic regions), stigma reduction and trauma-informed services, community engagement and partnerships, coordination of services, and community drug alerts.
The Drug Task Force will develop a work plan based on these priorities, recognizing the importance of community support and the unique needs of communities.
The Saskatchewan Drug Task Force includes representatives from provincial government ministries, the Chief Medical Health Officer, provincial coroner, police organizations, the Saskatchewan Health Authority, and more recently, the Saskatoon Tribal Council. Its mandate is to provide strategic leadership and oversight, to improve coordination and monitoring of the province’s response to substance-related harms.
The reports outlining these consultations are posted on saskatchewan.ca/drug-task-force.
The Government of Saskatchewan is investing a record amount for mental health and addictions services in 2021-22, including an increase of $23.4 million over last year’s budget. Of that investment, $2.6 million is specifically for harm reduction initiatives across the province, an increase of $1.4 million over last year.
For more information, contact:Health