Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction
Policy Brief

Substance Use and Climate Change


Explores how people who use drugs and the climate emergency interconnect. For example, in 2021 flooding in British Columbia disrupted people’s access to opioid agonist treatment. Looks at how people who use drugs are affected by access and supply issues subject to both acute climate-related disasters (such as wildfires, floods and droughts) and the long-term impacts (such as biodiversity loss, hotter weather and loss of Arctic ice).

Considers lessons learned from COVID-19 disruptions, and how we can apply these lessons to mitigate the climate emergency effects on people who use drugs. Offers policy recommendations to reduce the compounding impacts of the climate emergency and the drug toxicity crisis to improve the health, well-being and safety of people who use drugs.

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