Ontario Public Health Standards

Prevention of Injury and Substance Misuse11

Goal

  • To reduce the frequency, severity, and impact of preventable injury and of substance misuse.

Societal Outcomes

  • Community partners12 have the capacity to create safe and supportive environments where people live, work, play, and learn.
  • Members of the public have an increased capacity to prevent injury and substance misuse.
  • There is change in the public's cultural norms towards viewing injuries as predictable and preventable.
  • Sustained behaviour change by the public contributes to the prevention of injury and substance misuse.
  • An increased proportion of the public lives in safe and supportive environments.
  • There is reduced incidence and severity of injuries and injury-related hospitalizations, disabilities, and deaths.
  • There is reduced incidence and severity of substance misuse and substance-related injuries, hospitalizations, disabilities, and deaths.

Board of Health Outcomes

  • The board of health is aware of and uses epidemiology to influence the development of healthy public policy and its programs and services for the prevention of injury and substance misuse.
  • There is an increased awareness of community partners about the factors associated with injury and substance misuse required to inform program planning and policy development, including the following:
    • Community health status;
    • Risk, protective, and resiliency factors; and
    • Impact.
  • Policy-makers have the information required to enable them to amend current policies or develop new policies that would have an impact on the prevention of injury and substance misuse.
  • Community partners are engaged in the prevention of injury and substance misuse.
  • The public is aware that the majority of injuries are predictable and preventable.
  • The public is aware of the risk, protective, and resiliency factors associated with injury and substance misuse.
  • The public is aware of the impact associated with injury and substance misuse.
  • Priority populations have the capacity to prevent injury, substance misuse, and associated harms.
  • The public is aware of current legislation related to the prevention of injury and substance misuse.

Assessment and Surveillance

Requirement

  1. The board of health shall conduct epidemiological analysis of surveillance data, including monitoring trends over time, emerging trends, and priority populations, in accordance with the Population Health Assessment and Surveillance Protocol, 2008 (or as current), [PDF] in the areas of 13:
    • Alcohol and other substances;
    • Falls across the lifespan;
    • Road and off-road safety; and
    • Other areas of public health importance14 for the prevention of injuries.

Health Promotion and Policy Development

Requirements

  1. The board of health shall work with community partners, using a comprehensive health promotion approach, to influence the development and implementation of healthy policies and programs, and the creation or enhancement of safe and supportive environments that address the following:
  2. The board of health shall use a comprehensive health promotion approach to increase the capacity of priority populations to prevent injury and substance misuse by:
    1. Collaborating with and engaging community partners;
    2. Mobilizing and promoting access to community resources15;
    3. Providing skill-building opportunities; and
    4. Sharing best practices and evidence for the prevention of injury and substance misuse.
  3. The board of health shall increase public awareness of the prevention of injury and substance misuse in the following areas:
    These efforts shall include:
    1. Adapting and/or supplementing national and provincial health communications strategies; and/or
    2. Developing and implementing regional/local communications strategies.

Health Protection

Requirement

  1. The board of health shall use a comprehensive health promotion approach in collaboration with community partners, including enforcement agencies, to increase public awareness of and adoption of behaviours that are in accordance with current legislation16 related to the prevention of injury and substance misuse in the following areas:

Resources

Live Literature Searches


11 Substance misuse refers to the harmful use of any substance, such as alcohol, a street drug, an over-the-counter drug, or a prescribed drug. The program name is meant to clearly articulate the need to address the prevention of the adverse health outcomes associated with substance use, the illegal use of alcohol and other substances (e.g., preventing alcohol from being served to minors and preventing illegal drug use), and delaying the age of initial use of alcohol and other substances. Prevention efforts would include the implementation of harm reduction strategies (i.e., any program or policy designed to help reduce substance-related harm without requiring the cessation of substance use).
12 Community partners may include but are not limited to non-governmental organizations; governmental bodies; school boards and/or staff, school councils, and students of elementary, secondary, and post-secondary educational settings; parents; employers and employees in workplace settings; other stakeholders, etc.
13 The broad topic areas include alcohol and other substances (i.e., including alcohol misuse, drinking and driving, illicit substance use), falls across the lifespan (i.e., including falls in children, youth, adults, and older adults), and road and off-road safety (i.e., including motorized vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, drivers, and occupants).
14 Other areas of public health importance related to prevention of injuries and substance misuse may include violence, suicide, burns, drowning, farm injuries, poisonings, scalds, suffocation, sport and recreation, and playground safety. The assessment, planning, delivery, and management for other areas of public health importance would be based on local epidemiology and evidence of effective interventions.
15 Community resources may include, but are not limited to volunteers, coalitions, stakeholders, and access to safety equipment.
16 Legislation includes municipal by-laws (e.g., community safety zones), provincial legislation (e.g., mandatory child car seats under the Highway Traffic Act), and federal legislation (e.g., ban on baby walkers under the Hazardous Products Act) that support prevention of injury and substance misuse.

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