WATCH: Ontario health units to get help to hire staff, naloxone to fight opioid crisis

Ontario is putting $15 million toward hiring more addiction and mental health workers and distributing more kits with the overdose-reversing drug naloxone as it tries to combat an opioid crisis.

Health Minister Eric Hoskins announced today that part of the funding will go toward hiring up to four more front-line workers in every public health unit in the province.

He says this will help communities improve addiction outreach and education while also working on early warning and surveillance of opioid overdoses.
The province will also distribute nearly 80,000 naloxone kits per year through community outreach organizations.

Hoskins is also meeting today with mayors from cities across the province, such as Toronto, Ottawa, Thunder Bay and Hamilton, to discuss the opioid crisis.
In the first six months of last year, 412 people died as a result of opioid overdoses, compared with 371 during the same time period in 2015.

with files from Siobhan Morris