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Opioid Symposium - taking stock and moving forward


Opioid Symposium - taking stock and moving forward

Canada NewsWire

Minister of Health brings together policy-makers, experts and people with lived and living experience to discuss Canada's response to the opioid crisis

TORONTO, Sept. 5, 2018 /CNW/ - In 2017, approximately 4,000 Canadians lost their lives as a result of apparent opioid-related overdoses. Each one was a tragic loss of a family member, a loved one, a friend. While the Government of Canada continues to take action to address the opioid crisis, we know that more needs to be done.

Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, launched a two-day Opioid Symposium, bringing together close to 200 participants to discuss how to reverse the trend of the national overdose epidemic.

The Government of Canada has taken action to reduce barriers to treatment, such as facilitating methadone prescribing and use of medical heroine, implement harm reduction measures, address transparency of marketing practices from opioid manufacturers and distributors and improve access to treatment services through an Emergency Treatment Fund for provinces and territories.

Over the course of two days, participants will address topics such as stigma, treatment, harm reduction and enforcement and how the crisis impacts different communities across the country.


"The opioid crisis affects people of all ages, backgrounds and professions. Bringing together diverse groups of people through this symposium will help identify gaps that we need to fill to effectively address this public health crisis. Too many lives have been impacted by the crisis. We need to do more. It is my sincere hope that together we will be able to build on our individual actions to mount a better collective response."
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

"As we come together to take stock of the opioid crisis and discuss our growing but still incomplete understanding of all the factors at play, we are encouraged by the diverse participation at this symposium. The many voices represented here will help us respond in a way that will make a real difference in the lives of those with problematic substance use."
Dr. Theresa Tam
Canada's Chief Public Health Officer

Quick Facts

  • Participants in the 2018 Opioid Symposium include representatives from federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments, Indigenous groups, stakeholder organizations, law enforcement, public safety, correctional services, as well as a range of health professionals and people with lived and living experience.

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SOURCE Health Canada

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