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​What is being done to address the opioid crisis?

Tools and guides

CCSA Naloxone Costing Tool will help jurisdictions evaluate making naloxone more accessible, decreasing the number of lives lost to opioid overdose. We have also released care pathways for youth and older adults, along with a guide for developing and implementing such pathways, to provide advice on treatment to help reduce prescription drug harms.

No single organization or level of government working alone can transform the system of
care to create the kind of real and lasting change required to address the opioid crisis.
CCSA works with many partners to improve the health and safety of Canadians. In addition
to our work with the Joint Statement of Action to Address the Opioid Crisis, we are proud to
lead and support collaborative efforts to combat the current crisis.

First Do No Harm Strategy

In 2013, CCSA launched the collaborative report, First Do No Harm: Responding to
Canada's Prescription Drug Crisis
. The report contains a 10-year pan-Canadian strategy
laying out 58 recommendations across five areas:

  • Prevention

  • Education

  • Treatment

  • Monitoring and Surveillance

  • Enforcement

Additional recommendations are associated with legislation and regulation, research and evaluation.

The First Do No Harm Executive Council continues to lead the strategy by providing ongoing guidance to coordinate and , implement the recommendations. The Executive Council has committed to coordinating efforts with CCSA to ensure the evolution of the strategy is cohesive with the work committed to in the Joint Statement of Action to Address the Opioid Crisis in Canada. View the Inventory of Guidelines on the Treatment of Harms Resulting from Prescription Drug Use created by the First Do No Harm implementation team.​

U.S. Mission to Canada Public Affairs Grants Program

CCSA, with support from the United States Embassy to Canada in Ottawa, has developed a cross-Canada program to share experiences and learnings from the United States to communities across Canada that are most affected by the opioid crisis. This program aims:

  • To impact policy development on both sides of the border;

  • To provide target audiences with information that can inform strategic planning to address the opioid crisis; and

  • To foster collaborative relationships between Canada and the United States.

American experts participated on a panel at CCS​A’s Issues of Substance conference in November 2017 to share their expertise in relation to the opioid crisis, physician education and public health, as well as national monitoring and surveillance. 

In 2018, CCSA hosted an expert forum and a speaker series in six cities across Canada. U.S. experts shared their initiatives alongside local specialists, comparing and contrasting the Canadian perspective.

Our report, Strategies for Addressing the Opioid Crisis in the United Stated and Canada: Cross-Border Knowledge Sharing​, summarizes the learning exchanged from both sides of the border throughout the project and the actions that have resulted directly from this partnership.​

Pan-Canadian Collaborative on Education for Improved Opioid Prescribing

CCSA is part of the Pan-Canadian Collaborative on Education for Improved Opioid Prescribing, a partnership initiated and chaired by the College of Family Physicians of Canada to address the harms of prescription opioids. The collaborative offers multi-dimensional expertise in sustainable physician learning and practice related to managing pain and treating addiction. The collaborative focuses on creation and aggregation of knowledge, as well as translation of evidence into practice. 
In addition to CCSA, the members of the Collaborative are:   

Members of the collaborative are helping to disseminate the 2017 Canadian Guideline for Opioids for Chronic Pain, the updating of which was coordinated by the Michael G. DeGroote National Pain Centre. The Guideline was initially published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal and the Association has contributed a version of it in poster format.