Addressing substance use issues locally is a shared responsibility between all levels of government, in collaboration with a wide range community partners and stakeholders. The Health Unit can support this important work by providing the best data, surveillance and research to inform substance use policy, program design and community awareness and consultation, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to be healthy.
Municipalities and Cannabis
Municipalities have an important role to play in creating an environment that decreases the risk associated with cannabis use, and supports healthy decision-making around cannabis use, particularly among young people.
Please refer to the documents below for further information on smoking by-law language for municipal policy and retail outlet considerations.
- Print-friendly Municipalities and Cannabis: A Public Health Perspective Fact Sheet
- Cannabis Retail Outlet – Considerations for Municipalities
Municipal Alcohol Policies
The Health Unit can assist with creating or updating your municipal alcohol policy. By developing these policies through a community-involved process, communities can manage alcohol use better and reduce alcohol-related injuries at municipal events.
For more information about municipal alcohol policies see:
- Public Health Ontario: Municipal Alcohol Policies and Public Health: A Primer
- Alcohol Policy Review: Opportunity for Ontario Municipalities
Smoke Free By-Laws
The Health Unit encourages municipalities and sports and recreation organizations to create smoke-/vape-free spaces so everyone can enjoy clean air and good health. We also provide signs for community parks, playgrounds and sports fields. Please see our Smoking/Vaping site for Fact Sheets on Smoke Free Ontario Act, 2017.
Examples of smoke-free policies can be found on the Municipalities and Cannabis: A Public Health Perspective Fact Sheet.
Municipal Drug Strategy
The Municipal Drug Strategy encourages multi-sectoral communication and collaboration across a four pillar framework – prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and enforcement to meet the needs of the community. The community can collectively organize their efforts to enhance the supports, skills and knowledge for healthy decision making and risk reduction with respect to substance use – including but not limited to alcohol, cannabis, prescription and street drugs. Municipalities are in the unique position at the Municipal level to draw on volunteers who care about their neighbourhood and neighbours, and are passionate about their community.
For more information about Municipal Drug Strategies:
The following Municipal Drug Strategies are currently active in the United Counties of Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Counties.
- Town of Gananoque
- Township of Leeds and Thousand Islands
- Township of Rideau Lakes
- Perth, Tay Valley, Drummond/North Elmsley Municipal Drug Strategy
- Smiths Falls MDS
- South Grenville MDS
- Smiths Falls and Lanark Steering Committee
Harm Reduction Steering Committee
The Community Harm Reduction Steering Committee is a locally driven initiative of community partners working together to move harm reduction strategies forward across Leeds, Grenville and Lanark. The committee consists of a wide range of community partners from a multitude of sectors including community health centres, first responders, social services, counselling and treatment services, public health and law enforcement. The committee focuses on education and awareness building activities, bringing evidence-based strategies to the community and advocating on behalf of community members affected by substance use. Follow this link to more Harm Reduction Steering Committee information found on the Health Unit Drug Use and Harm Reduction portion of the Health Unit website.
Opioid Community Response
The Opioid Community Response section of Drug Use and Harm Reduction will give you alerts, the overdose tool and resources to support your work and protect your community.
Planet Youth Lanark County is a new way to engage the community. Planet Youth is a name that represents a new approach to measurably improving quality of life within a community. Specifically, Planet Youth is designed (and proven) to reduce or prevent drug/substance abuse and misuse among youth while helping to build and strengthen communities.