Strategies for Addressing the Opioid Crisis in the United States and Canada: Cross-Border Knowledge Sharing
On November 2016, the Honourable Dr. Jane Philpott, then federal Minister of Health, and the Honourable Dr. Eric Hoskins, then Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, signed the Joint Statement of Action to Address the Opioid Crisis in Canada. CCSA, working with the federal government, facilitates the sharing of information among opioid response partners to avoid duplication of efforts and encourage collaboration. In addition, in 2013, CCSA first drew attention to the harms being experienced from prescription drugs through the First Do No Harm collaboration.
Since then, many governments, regional health authorities, institutions, local health delivery organizations and healthcare providers have taken on initiatives to improve the prevention, treatment and harm reduction responses to opioid use, as well as contributed to the evidence base and national information sharing. These efforts represent both individual and collective action to respond to the opioid crisis in Canada.
CCSA, with support from the United States Embassy to Canada in Ottawa, has completed a program to share experiences and learnings from the United States with communities across Canada that are most affected by the opioid crisis. This program aims:
American experts participated on a panel at CCSA’s Issues of Substance conference in November 2017 to highlight the importance of data, monitoring and surveillance to ensuring a more comprehensive understanding of the crisis.
An expert forum in March 2018 enabled Canadian and U.S. panelists to compare and contrast approaches to respond to the opioid crisis across multiple streams of action. This event allowed participants to learn from each other’s successes and challenges to inform and prioritize future actions.
A six-city cross-Canada speaker series from April to September 2018 facilitated conversations at the community level about solutions to the opioid crisis. U.S. and Canadian experts tailored their presentations to correspond to the unique knowledge needs and experiences in different parts of Canada.
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.
CCSA supports a Pan-Canadian Collaborative on Improved Opioid Prescribing, which is chaired by the College of Family Physicians of Canada, to address the harms of prescription opioids. The collaborative offers expertise in leading practices and lessons learned when it comes to physician’s managing pain and treating addiction. The collaborative focuses on the sharing knowledge and translating evidence into practice.
In addition to CCSA, the members of the collaborative are:
In September 2018, CCSA, in partnership with Health Canada, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and the Globe and Mail, co-hosted an opioid symposium in Toronto to:
Who is addressing the opioid crisis in Canada?
Many government and non-government organizations have made multiple commitments spanning the key areas of opioid-related research, prevention, treatment and harm reduction. These efforts represent both individual and collective action to respond to the opioid crisis in Canada.
CCSA has collaborated on a number of research projects funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and focused on synthesizing knowledge related to the opioid crisis. These projects aim:
In addition, CCSA is also collaborating on a number of CIHR-funded projects focused on evaluating responses to the opioid crisis. These include: