This workshop will explore the history and prevalence of the opioid crisis as well as the role stigma has played in slowing our response. New provincial and federal policy and the emergence of best practices from across the country will be discussed. Changes in prescribing practices play a preventative role, but key harm reduction strategies are most relevant to those who are currently caught in the surge of opioid abuse, often ending up in our criminal justice system. The use of Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST), Naloxone and Safe Injection Sites will be explored, highlighting challenges and best practices, specifically through a correctional lens. Just as policing practices have changed to respond to the opioid crisis, community corrections providers have also rallied to adapt their practices to provide the best care and outcomes for their clients. Please come, listen and share in the discussion. Canada may have some key learnings to apply to your experience in your community.
Heather holds a BA in Psychology/Law & Criminology and a Masters of Social Work Degree. She has over 25 years’ experience in the mental health field, specializing in addictions, concurrent disorders and PTSD. She has worked extensively in provincial and federal corrections as well as program design and clinical consultation through her private practice. Heather has provided training in Ontario, across Canada and in the United States. Heather has also been an instructor at Conestoga College and Wilfrid Laurier University. Heather has been the Executive Director of Stonehenge Therapeutic Community for over 14 years. Stonehenge is a modified therapeutic community founded in 1971 as a long-term residential treatment program for men and women with a history of acute and chronic substance abuse and involvement with the criminal justice system. Heather has held numerous leadership positions both locally and provincially in addition to being one of the founding members of the Canadian Association of Women’s Criminal Justice Residential Options (CAROW). She currently sits on the Board of Directors of ICCA.