Opioid Symposium

Learn about the Opioid Symposium and see the agenda and the What We Heard Report.

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About the Opioid Symposium

Health Canada, in association with the Globe and Mail and with support from the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, hosted the Opioid Symposium on September 5-6, 2018, in Toronto.

The meeting objectives were to:

  • place the voices of people with lived and living experience at the centre of the discussion;
  • promote increased access to treatment and harm reduction; and
  • recognize the different aspects of the opioid crisis and discuss opportunities for collaboration.

The agenda focused on issues relating to:

  • addressing stigma experienced by people who use drugs and people with chronic pain;
  • the impacts of the opioid crisis on Indigenous communities;
  • innovative approaches to treatment and prevention;
  • compliance & enforcement; and
  • international perspectives.

More than 200 participants attended the two-day event, including:

  • federal, provincial and territorial ministers and officials;
  • researchers;
  • health experts and medical practitioners;
  • members of law enforcement;
  • public safety and corrections communities;
  • individuals with lived and living experience related to opioid use; and
  • members of the media.

Together, we can #StopOverdoses.

About Canada's opioid crisis

In 2017, nearly 4,000 Canadians lost their lives to apparent opioid-related overdoses. It is a national public health crisis that the Government of Canada has committed to address by working with partners across Canada.

Together, we can bring forward solutions that can stop overdoses, save lives and improve the lives of people dealing with substance use disorders.

Symposium details, agenda and What We Heard Report

The symposium took place on September 5-6, 2018, at The Globe and Mail Centre in Toronto, and was webcast for members of the public.

The agenda and the What We Heard Report are available online.


For questions related to the Opioid Symposium, please contact hc.opioidresponse-interventionopioides.sc@canada.ca.

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