Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

Resources Related to the Opioid Crisis

​​​Across Canada, organizations and jurisdictions are working collectively to drive impact at the national, jurisdictional and local levels in fulfilling their commitments under the Joint Statement of Action, as well as contributing to end the opioid crisis.

The resulting resources presented here are organized along the pillars of the Canadian drugs and substances strategy.

Partner organizations have supplied some of the resources on this page. CCSA cannot vouch for the accuracy or currency of the information in these resources. Inclusion of a resource on this page does not imply endorsement or authorization by CCSA.

Resources to educate and support efforts to prevent harms from opioid use, including improving pain management and education for health providers.


Recommendations and guidance for various medical specialties and patients to have an informed conversation about opioid use and how to reduce the harms associated with opioid prescribing.

Organization: Choosing Wisely Canada Recommendations


Professional practice recommendations to inform clinical decision making in the assessment and management of neck and back pain, as well as two referral tools to support inter-professional communication and collaboration.

Organization: Canadian Chiropractic Association


A handout that answers questions an individual might have when prescribed an opioid following surgery

Organization: Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada


​A template based on best available evidence to assist family physicians and primary care nurse practitioners evaluate opioid therapies and reduce opioid dosages where appropriate

Organization: The Centre for Effective Practice


Poster of the 2017 Canadian Opioid Prescribing Guideline

Organization: Pan-Canadian Collaborative for Improved Opioid Prescribing


​Supports, coordinates and synchronizes leading innovative and high-impact research with the ultimate goal of removing barriers to better chronic pain management

Organization: Chronic Pain Network


​Point-of-care tool that summarizes essential information and advice from the Canadian Guideline for Safe and Effective Use of Opioid for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain

Organization: Michael G. DeGroote National Pain Centre


Quality standard that addresses care for people 15 years of age and older with acute pain who have been prescribed or are considering opioids.

Organization: Health Quality Ontario


Safety bulletin and infographic

Organization: Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada


Guidelines for clinical practice developed by an international team of clinicians, researchers and patients

Organization: Michael G. DeGroote National Pain Centre


​A review of accreditation standards for undergraduate medical education, an environmental scan of offerings across Canadian medical schools, and best practices for teaching and evaluation in opioid prescribing and pain management, primarily in non-cancer pain

Organization: Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada


Recommenda­tions to reduce the prevalence of opioid prescribing by optimizing non-pharmacological pain management alternatives in Canada

Organization: Coalition for Safe and Effective Pain Management


Resources that ensure the quality, access and availability of supports that can help individuals experiencing harms from opioid use.


​An online tool that provides primary care providers with detailed guidance on identifying, and managing individuals living with an opioid use disorder, including approaches for buprenorphine-naloxone induction.​

Organization: Centre for Effective Practice


Outlines the evidence for the various components in the continuum of care for the treatment of opioid use disorder, including principles for the manner in which services should be delivered, and highlights the actions taking place across Canada to respond to the opioid crisis. ​

Organization: Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction


​Supplement that emphasize developmentally appropriate, youth-centred, trauma-informed, culturally appropriate care for youth.

Organization: British Columbia Centre on Substance Use


​Supplement that emphasize developmentally appropriate, youth-centred, trauma-informed, culturally appropriate care for youth.

Organization: British Columbia Centre on Substance Use


​​Outlines optimal treatment approaches and the strength of the evidence behind the recommendations

Organization: Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse


​Care pathways to guide treatment for prescription drug harms

Organization: Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction


​Practice point that focuses on the effects of opioid withdrawal and current management strategies in the care of infants born to mothers with opioid dependency

Organization: Canadian Paediatric Society


​Quality standard that addresses care for people 16 years of age and older (including those who are pregnant) who have or are suspected of having opioid use disorder

Organization: Health Quality Ontario


Resources that outline efforts to reduce the harms experiences from opioid use, including opioid poisonings.


​A one-page summary of the concept and availability of “safe supply” of drugs.

Organization: Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs


​An alert outlining the limitations of fentanyl test strips.

Organization: Health Canada


​Videos that outline pharmacists’ role in the opioid crisis and how to administer nasal and injectable naloxone.

Organization: Canadian Pharmacists Association


​Recommendations and guidance for various models to offer safe consumption services.

Organization: British Columbia Centre on Substance Use


An excel template to help jurisdictions evaluate making naloxone more accessible

Organization: Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction


​An environmental scan outlining naloxone availability as of November 2017

Organization: Canadian Pharmacists Association


A guide that provides an overview of Ontario’s current situation regarding opioids, and content for organizations to develop an overdose protocol

Organization: Canadian Mental Health Association Ontario


​Safe medication use newsletter with suggestions for questions to ask your healthcare provider or doctor

Organization: Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada


A guide that outlines four key elements of a public health overdose response and suggests a process for implementing a community overdose response plan

Organization: University of Victoria, Centre for Addictions Research of BC


Resources related to police and other enforcement agency efforts to reduce harms from illicit opioid use.


Overdose Incidents in Federal Custody, 2012/2013-2016/2017

Organization: Correctional Services Canada


​A summary of the knowledge shared on various enforcement perspectives at a meeting held in March 2018. A summary of the knowledge shared on various enforcement perspectives at a meeting held in March 2018.

Organization: Public Safety Canada and Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction


A review of key concepts and illustrative examples, and a summary of lessons learned to inform policy and practice.​​

Organization: Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction


Report on actions enforcement has and can take to respond to the opioid crisis

Organization: Police Executive Research Forum


Resources that provide research evidence and data related to opioids and the extent of and response to the crisis.


​​A summary of apparent opioid-related deaths, hospitalizations and emergency room visits as of December 2018.

Organization: Government of Canada


​The personal stories of eleven individuals’ experiences with opioids.

Organization: Ontario Drug Policy Research Network and Health Debate Project


​An infographic outlining the characteristics of individuals who experienced an opioid-related death in 2016.

Organization: Ontario Drug Policy Research Network


​An interactive tool that displays trends in opioid prescribing across Ontario from 2012 onwards. Indicators can be displayed by month, year, age group, sex and geography.

Organization: Ontario Drug Policy Research Network


​Brief summary of prescription opioids and considerations unique for women.

Organization: Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health


​Brief summary of sex and gender differences related to opioid use and its impact.

Organization: Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health


​Summary of the U.S. experience that provides data on prevalence of substance use, opioid misuse, opioid use disorders, and opioid overdoses and related harms, as well as the public health response across the continuum of care.

Organization: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


​Data on opioid-related mortality as of September 2018.

Organization: Public Health Agency of Canada


​A chartbook that provides trends in the prescribing of opioids and benzodiazepines for 2017.

Organization: Canadian Institute for Health Information


​A map that provides estimated opioid-related hospitalizations in 2017 by jurisdiction.

Organization: Canadian Institute for Health Information


​Emergency Medical Services information from available jurisdictions is provided to allow for examination of suspected opioid-related overdoses in pre-hospital settings.

Organization: Public Health Agency of Canada in partnership with the Canadian Institute for Health Information


​Presents data collected by the provinces and territories on apparent opioid-related deaths.

Organization: Public Health Agency of Canada in partnership with the Canadian Institute for Health Information


​A summary of analyses evaluating the impact of the Fentanyl P4P return program

Organization: Public Safety Canada


​​Data on opioid-related mortality as of December 2017

Organization: Public Health Agency of Canada


​Report on data related to positives and areas for improvement related to ‘new starts’ of opioids

Organization: Health Quality Ontario


​An interactive tool that allows users to explore the most recent opioid-related morbidity and mortality data, including emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths

Organization: Public Health Ontario


​​Report based on survey findings of Canadian family physicians and community pharmacists

Organization: Canada Health Infoway


​Survey of Canadians knowledge of opioid issue and risks, and the willingness to act as of November 2017

Organization: Statistics Canada


​A report, infographic and data tables

Organization: Canadian Institute for Health Information


​​A chartbook that provides as overview of opioid-related harms in Canada, including available data on hospitalizations and emergency department visit due to opioid poisonings

Organization: Canadian Institute for Health Information


​Report of community-based prescription data on the number of people receiving opioid prescriptions and the quantity of opioids prescribed in Canada

Organization: Canadian Institute for Health Information


National efforts that represent collaborations and information sharing to combat the opioid crisis.


​This report summarizes the opioid-related knowledge sharing from the United States and Canada and the actions that have resulted directly from a partnership sponsored by the United States Embassy to Canada in Ottawa.

Organization: Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction


​This report summarizes the dialogue shared among diverse stakeholders over a two-day event, held in September 2018, examining the various aspects of the opioid crisis and opportunities for collaboration.

Organization: Health Canada


​Recommendations for the media to reduce stigma and help shift public opinion.

Organization: Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health


​A Discussion Guide for Health Care and Social Service Providers

Organization: Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health


​A document explaining the importance of language and providing terminology that is person-centred​

Organization: Health Canada


​A webpage that defines stigma, outlines why it matters and what individuals can do to help.

Organization: Health Canada


​A video to raise awareness about the effects that stigma has on the quality of life of people who use drugs, people in recovery and their families

Organization: Health Canada


​Recording of webinars in English and French that address various components of the opioid crisis, including treatment, supervised consumption sites, overdose prevention and more

Organization: Canadian Nurses Association


​​A strategy with 58 recommendations across multiple streams of action to address prescription drug harms

Organization: Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction


​A summary of the ministerial roundtable on opioids

Organization: HealthCareCan


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