News

Local 175 Members help save lives every day

February 2, 2018 at 9:30am

Chances are you have an Ontario Addiction Treatment Centre (OATC) in or near your community.

OATC - UFCW Local 175There are locations throughout Ontario, and at many of them — 44 actually – you’ll find members of UFCW Local 175 working every day to help those struggling with addiction.

On a daily basis, more than 180 Members of Local 175 at OATC interact with patients from every walk of life. They are busy and on their feet most of the time checking doses, getting samples, working with doctors, doing intake, and much more. And all of this is to help patients stay on track with their recovery. Featured on this page are two members from our Sudbury clinic and a group of three members who work at the Cambridge location.

Ontario has the highest rate of prescription opioid abuse in Canada. Opioids are drugs used primarily for pain relief. Some examples include heroin and fentanyl. Opioids also include legally prescribed medications like:

  • oxycodone,
  • codeine,
  • morphine,
  • and hydrocodone.

Overdoses from opioids are at a crisis level. In recent months, news of the many deaths from fentanyl-laced drugs have been all over the news. It is incredibly potent, and very dangerous. It can be fatal in very small doses.

Opioid Replacement Therapy (ORT) is a long-term treatment for opiate-dependent people. In fact, Health Canada recognizes ORT as one of the best options more managing this addiction and achieving good health outcomes.

OATC - UFCW Local 175What does ORT do?

  • Provides relief from painful withdrawal symptoms.
  • Reduces cravings.
  • Allows patients to reach a level of stability where they can focus on underlying issues.

In addition, many patients also suffer from Hepatitis-C, for which patients can also receive treatment through these facilities.

OATC Clinics also provide Naloxone, which is used to reverse overdoses. Naloxone has become more prevalent for many health care workers with the recent surge in Fentanyl-related deaths.

Caring for patients in the midst of addiction recovery is a job that requires compassion and understanding. The Members of Local 175 at OATC work diligently and with care to provide a great level of service to their patients. They are helping to change people’s lives and end the stigma of addiction.

OATC- UFCW Local 175If you or someone you know has an addiction, you can contact Ontario’s Drug & Alcohol Helpline at 1-800-565-8603 or visit them online at www.drugandalcoholhelpline.ca. You can also reach out to an OATC centre in your community as well.

Remember, the Union also provides a confidential referral service through Labour Community Services that can help put you in touch with services in your community as well. Contact Sharon Clarke at 416.445.5819 ext. 25.