Taking action on Canada's opioid crisis

Canada is facing a national opioid crisis. The growing number of overdoses and deaths caused by opioids, including fentanyl, is a public health emergency. This is a complex health and social issue that needs a response that is comprehensive, collaborative, compassionate and evidence-based.

Public Health Emergency Response

Enabling a coordinated pan-canadian response to the opioid crisis

  • Data, surveillance and research
  • Public communications
  • P/T and stakeholder engagement
  • Surge capacity, mobilization and support

Health Ministers and key stakeholders have publicly committed to working within their respective areas of responsibility in a coordinated and comprehensive response to address problematic opioid use. The commitments fall within the pillars of prevention, treatment, harm reduction and enforcement, supported by strong evidence.


Preventing problematic drug use

  • Implement the Health Portfolio's Problematic Prescription Drug Use Strategy
  • Improve prescribing practices
  • Better inform Canadians about the risks of opioids


Supporting innovative approaches to treatment

  • Better access for rural and remote First Nations communities
  • Improve access to medication-assisted treatments for opioid use disorder
  • Improve treatment options for pain management
  • Share knowledge on treatments for opioid use disorders

Harm reduction

Supporting a range of tools and measures for individuals and communities

  • Support the establishment of supervised consumption sites
  • Facilitate access to naloxone
  • Ensure timely laboratory drug analysis information is shared between partners
  • Support legislation to protect individuals who seek emergency assistance for overdose
  • Reduce public health consequences of problematic drug use


Addressing illegal drug production, supply and distribution

  • Continue enforcement on the importation and trafficking of illegal opioids
  • Pursue legislative, regulatory, policy and programmatic changes to better control substances and equipment
  • Collect, assess and share information with law enforcement agencies domestically and internationally
  • Support education and training for law enforcement

Supported by a strong evidence-base to better identify trends and best practices

Better identifying trends, targeting interventions, monitoring impacts and supporting evidence-based decisions

  • Facilitate timely and comparable data collection and methodologies
  • Consult experts and support research and knowledge sharing

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Organization: Health Canada

Type: Poster

Date published: 2017-06

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