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Response to Prescription Drug and Opioid Harms

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 prescription drug crisis.

Coalition for Safe and Effective Pain Management

CCSA is a member of the Coalition for Safe and Effective Pain Management, which works to evaluate the common reasons for opioid prescriptions and recommends improving access for patients to alternative evidence-based, non-pharmacological pain management options. Members of the coalition include:

  • Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists

  • Canadian Chiropractic Association

  • Canadian Nurses Association

  • Canadian Orthopaedic Association

  • Canadian Pain Society

  • Canadian Patient Safety Institute

  • Canadian Pharmacists Association

  • Canadian Physiotherapy Association

  • Canadian Psychological Association

  • Health Canada

  • Individuals with Lived Experience

  • Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada

  • Patients for Patient Safety Canada

The coalition is developing specific recommendations for governments and other stakeholders, as committed to in the Joint Statement of Action to Address the Opioid Crisis. These recommendations would help to optimize clinical alternatives for pain management to reduce reliance on opioids.

Collective action to implement the First Do No Harm strategy

In 2013, CCSA launched the collaborative First Do No Harm: Responding to Canada's Prescription Drug Crisis. This 10-year pan-Canadian strategy lays 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 strategy continues to be led by the First Do No Harm Executive Council providing ongoing guidance in the coordination, implementation and evaluation of these 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

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 update 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.

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 will participate on a panel at CCSA’s Issues of Substance conference in November 2017 to share their expertise in relation to the opioid crisis and physician education, public health, as well as national monitoring and surveillance. More information about additional engagements across Canada will be available soon.