Drug Abuse

Matawa Regional Prescription Drug Abuse/Misuse Project

Prescription Drug Abuse/Misuse Project is a project that addresses the issues associated with the problem of prescription drug abuse and misuse in the Matawa First Nation communities and working with each First Nation to find regional and community-based solutions.

Project Goals:

  • To ensure the Matawa Regional Prescription Drug Abuse/Misuse Strategy initiatives are resourced, “moving forward” and implemented.
  • To assist and provide support to all Matawa First Nation Communities in addressing the PDA/M issues
  • To engage in research, create awareness and education about prescription drug abuse/misuse

Important Milestones:

2009: Matawa Chiefs supports Eabametoong First Nation’s pilot project to work with partner agencies and other First Nations for the development of a Central Drug Rehabilitation and Treatment Facility in Eabametoong First Nation (Resolution 2009/#24);

2010: The Matawa First Nations Chiefs declared a medical state of emergency with prescription drugs in its territories (Resolution 2010/#07);

2010: The Matawa Chiefs pass a resolution to lobby the Department of Justice and the Ministry of Solicitor General to ensure proceeds of crime flow back to Matawa First Nations in the form of prevention, a peace officer, intervention, aftercare, and victims services (Resolution 2010/#13);

2010: Constance Lake First Nation hosted the inaugural “Back to Our Roots: PDAM Community Gathering-I; Wee Chee Heh Deh Dah to Overcome Prescription Drug Abuse/Misuse”

2011: The Matawa First Nations Chiefs pass a resolution directing: (1) Matawa Health and Social Services Task Group to develop a Matawa First Nations protocols on zero tolerance which prohibits anyone possessing illegal substances in its First Nations and for implementing random search and seizures; (2) establishment of a Justice of the Peace Program for each Matawa First Nation; and (3) law enforcement agencies to increase efforts in random search and seizure and to apprehend illegal substances and to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law (Resolution 2011/#1);

2011: The Matawa Chiefs direct the Matawa Health and Social Services Task Group to seek funding to host a follow-up Prescription Drug Abuse/Misuse Gathering (Resolution 2011/#11);

2011: Ginoogaming First Nation and Long Lake #58 First Nation become members of the Matawa Health and Social Services Task Group (Resolution 2011/#21);

2012: Long Lake #58 First Nation hosted “Back to Our Roots: PDAM Community Gathering II; Journey to a Prosperous Tomorrow”;

2012: Matawa Chiefs directs the Matawa Education and Matawa Health and Social Services Task Group to commission research into the effects of prescription drug abuse in children who have had prenatal exposure to Oxycontin, Methadone, and Suboxone (Resolution #10-08-02-12).

2012: Matawa First Nations prescription drug abuse is at epidemic levels and the number of illegal dealers continues to increase. Chiefs reaffirm their support of zero tolerance policies for illegal possession and distribution of illegal substances and for random search and seizure on reserve and their direction to law enforcement agencies to ensure zero tolerance is enforced and to calling for agreements between the offender and Crown to desist (Resolution #28-08-02-12); and

2012: Neskantaga First Nation hosted  “Back to Our Roots: PDAM Community Gathering III- Moving Forward to Recovery, Wellness and Relapse Prevention “Wee Chee Heh Deh Zoon: Self, Family, & Community”