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Simcoe Muskoka Drug Strategy

The Simcoe Muskoka Drug Strategy (SMDS) is a large partnership of agencies, organizations and individuals committed to working together to address the harms associated with the current drug toxicity crisis being experienced throughout our region. SMDS is an extension of the work previously undertaken by the Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy (SMOS), which transitioned to SMDS in spring 2023.

A final report on the work implemented by SMOS can be found at, Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy (SMOS) A Report on Actions (2018-2021)

SMDS has established initial priorities and will incorporate local community needs and emerging trends as they arise.

Initial priorities include:

  • Integration of the expertise of people with lived/living experience of substance use through the creation of a People Who Use Drugs/Peer Advisory Group.
  • Exploring the expansion of the local Opioid Agonist Therapy prescribing in the region, including injectable options.
  • Creating momentum toward policy change through raising awareness among partners and the public of the impact of current drug policy on people who use drugs.
  • Increasing accessibility to bereavement supports for the community of people who use drugs, their family and friends as well as those service providers who provide their care.

Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT) is a medical treatment for people with opioid use disorder. It reduces cravings for opioids and prevents severe withdrawal symptoms. More information can be found on Health Canada’s website:  Opioid use disorder and treatment.

September 2023 Update:
Initial work is being undertaken to plan and provide education and mentorship for healthcare providers interested in integrating OAT into their practice.

November 2023 Update:
An education session has been provided to the Emergency Department (ED) physicians at Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie about the use of Buprenorphine (Suboxone) in the ED.

A group of physicians from across the region is meeting to develop a regional approach for starting OAT in the ED.

September 2023 Update:

The Canadian Drug Policy Coalition presented to the Community Partner Advisory Committee on the impact of drug policy on the current drug toxicity crisis.

Supporting materials were provided by the working group.


November 2023 Update:

Key messages about harm reduction, including decriminalization are being developed, including a focus on harm reduction with an Indigenous perspective.

September 2023 Update:

Hospice Georgian Triangle – Substance Related Death Support Group

Members from Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness (SCATEH) Barrie have partnered and are offering a Peer Support Group for Frontline workers on the second Thursday morning (8 AM - 9 AM) of each month at Barrie Community Health Centre, and the fourth Monday of the month at Hospice Simcoe Community Support Office (5:30 PM - 6:30 PM) Bell Farm Location

Healing Hearts with Moms Stop the Harm – Peer Support After a Loss from Substance Use Related Causes

November 2023 Update:

The Gilbert Centre and Hospice Simcoe are partnering to offer Grief and Bereavement Support to unhoused individuals experiencing grief in Barrie.

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