A Community of Caring: Substance use, impacts and innovative solutions

November 23, 2022

Substance use, impacts and innovative solutions

Hosted in collaboration between Northern College School of Community Services and Advising Services

Date: November 23, 2022
1:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Location: Timmins Campus – H116
4715 HWY 101 East, South Porcupine, ON P0N 1H0

Join us in the national conversation around substance use and it’s impacts in our community. We are creating space and inviting you in for an afternoon of learning and discussion as part of our dedication to the National Addiction Awareness Week. Hear from the experts on the harms related to substance use and together, share solutions and healthy strategies for building positive, inclusive communities.

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction highlights November 20 – 26 as the National Addiction Awareness Week in Canada. We are taking action to help spread awareness, learn more about prevention, treatment and recovery to address the harms related to substance use in our surrounding communities.

Naloxone Training will also be available for onsite participants, provided by the Porcupine Health Unit.

We encourage all staff & faculty, and students to take part in this important opportunity.


Dr Louisa Marion-Bellemare graduated from and completed her residency at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. She works at the Timmins and District Hospital Emergency Department, Paediatric Mental Health Department, the primary care clinic at the homeless shelter and the addiction clinics in communities along the James Bay Coast. Dr Marion-Bellemare can also be found working at the Indigenous Health Care Centre and the local provincial jail. She is the co-lead and works with the addiction medicine program at the hospital which includes the addiction medicine consult service and the community withdrawal management service. She is actively involved in her community by promoting barrier free access to addiction treatment with the ultimate goal to save lives and improve quality of life.

Dr. Andrea Sereda is the lead physician at London Intercommunity Health Centre’s Health Outreach program, where she cares for people marginalized from traditional healthcare systems. Dr. Sereda focuses on people who use drugs, people deprived of housing, women in the survival sex trade, as well as medical street outreach and care in non-traditional settings such as shelter or jail. Dr. Sereda is the founding physician for Safer Opioid Supply (SOS), which provides pharmaceutical grade opioids to people dependent on the street fentanyl supply. SOS is a Health Canada recognized, SUAP funded program that is a pillar of the Federal government’s approach to the overdose crisis. Dr. Sereda is an avid harm reductionist, practicing solidarity with all marginalized peoples, with the goal of eliminating power structures in medicine that perpetuate poor health and oppression.

Zoë Dodd is a long-time drug user advocate, harm reduction worker, organizer, researcher and scholar. She is currently the inaugural Community Scholar at MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael’s Hospital, Unity Health and a co-organizer with the Toronto Overdose Prevention Society. For the last two decades her work has focused primarily on issues related to hepatitis C, HIV, drug policy, homelessness, harm reduction, poverty, and overdose. She has been instrumental in addressing the overdose crisis, widely known for helping to establish an unsanctioned overdose prevention site in Moss Park. She co-founded the Toronto Community Hep C Program, a community based model that supports and treats people who use drugs and was modelled around the province. Most recently she co-lead the “Evaluation of Encampment Outreach Supports in Toronto During the COVID 19 Pandemic” with the MARCO Study. This report can be found at www.maphealth.ca. She is the recipient of several awards, has published many works and is engaged with a number of research projects. She has a master’s degree from York University in the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change where her work focused on the experiences of people who use drugs with mandated drug treatment. Zoe Dodd will speak on her work related to hepatitis C, HIV, drug policy, homelessness, harm reduction, poverty, and overdose prevention. Zoe has created pathways to community-based models that support people who use drugs, and her innovative ideas have been modelled across the province.

Nicholas Harrell is a person with lived experience of substance use. For approximately 14 years he battled substance dependency ranging from cocaine, crack cocaine, percocet, and fentanyl patches. Nicholas states 10 years of that time was spent being daily opioid dependent. On November 16th he will have the honor of celebrating my sixth consecutive year completely substance free. Since being in recovery he has completed high school, graduated college, obtained a license, and has become a father. After enjoying a successful mining career for approximately 4 years, is now working the frontlines of the mental health field with CMHA. Nicholas obtained this job due to the completion of his grade 12, and lived experience. I am no longer an addict; I AM A SURVIVOR.

For more information, please contact:

Christianne Blain
Professor, School of Community Services

Nichole Roy
Mental Health Advisor, Advising Services

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