Action needed on drugs, board agrees

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With COVID-19 apparently in decline, Chatham-Kent board of health members want to see the focus transition on toxic drug poisoning.

Chatham Coun. Karen Kirkwood Whyte, who sits on the board, brought forward a motion to urge the provincial government to declare an emergency due to the “drug poisoning crisis” in Ontario.

She said drug use and addiction is a huge issue in our municipality and beyond.

“This warrants the same urgency and intensity as the COVID-19 pandemic,” she told other board members at their June 15 meeting.

Kirkwood-Whyte and fellow municipal councillor and board of health member Carmen McGregor attended the virtual Association of Local Public Health Agencies (ALPHA) meeting recently, and saw how the group is concerned on the burgeoning drug crisis in the province.

“I’m suggesting our local board of health supports the recommendation,” Kirkwood-Whyte said of the ALPHA request to the Ford government.

The board unanimously passed the request.

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