Cobourg cares about the opioid epidemic

By Cecilia Nasmith

Cobourg Councillor Adam Bureau shared his personal story at council's committee-of-the-whole meeting this week to explain his passion for combating the opioid epidemic.

The result will be a round-table event Oct. 1 at Venture 13 that Bureau hopes will result in some solid strategies to save lives.

The councillor previously spoke of his wish to partner with the community's first responders – along with a Northumberland County representative and Northumberland-Peterborough South MP Kim Rudd and MPP David Piccini – to set up these facilitated discussions to develop some initiatives to combat drug dependency.

“I want our citizens to know we as councillors are listening with regards to the opioid crisis our town is currently experiencing,” Bureau said.

“We care about all the citizens of Cobourg, not just the privileged or middle-class, but everyone.

“This particular issue has affected me personally. I recently shared my story on Rob Washburn's radio show.”

Bureau was prescribed oxycontin after a 2002 car accident, and became addicted.

“It's a story we hear far too often, and something that has become way too common,” he said.

“I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones, as I was able to overcome my addiction, but I could just as easily not have been so lucky.

“We are dealing with homelessness, theft and, worst of all, overdosing, all because of opioid addiction.”

The Cobourg Police Service has had some recent significant busts, he added. But as Chief Paul VandeGraaf said, we cannot arrest ourselves out of the problem.

“We need to show the citizens of Cobourg this council cares, and we are here for them.”

Panel members had been chosen for their involvement on the front lines of the crisis. Councillor Nicole Beatty made an amendment to put a few more parties at the table – a representative of Northumberland Hills Hospital Mental Health Services, the Fourcast Addiction Services, the Greenwood Coalition and two individuals with lived experience.

Bureau liked the suggestions and Beatty's amendment, and then the motion, were passed.