CCSA Commits to Key Role in Addressing Opioid Use in Canada

OTTAWA, Nov. 19, 2016 /CNW/ - At today's Opioid Summit, hosted by the Honourable Jane Philpott, federal Minister of Health, and the Honourable Eric Hoskins, Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) proudly signed the Joint Statement of Action to Address the Opioid Crisis, joining over 40 other organizations in a coordinated effort to change the course of opioid use and harms in Canada.

The two-day conference and summit concluded with commitments to bring about the immediate change that is required. The issue is a complex one and no one level of government or organization can address it alone. It requires commitment and collective action to achieve immediate collective impact.

In signing the Joint Statement of Action, CCSA committed to the following measures:

  • On a quarterly basis starting March 2017: reporting on the Joint Statement of Action by communicating regularly with, monitoring the progress of, and facilitating reporting by all members.
  • Starting immediately: working with Health Canada to engage stakeholders and identify new partners with clear accountability for action to reduce the harms associated with opioids and other problematic substance use.
  • Providing leadership and guidance to individual and collective efforts as part of ongoing work related to the First Do No Harm strategy to address the harms associated with opioids and other psychoactive prescription drugs.
  • Promoting the inclusion of the newly developed Competencies for Healthcare Professionals Related to Addiction and Pain in licensing exams and educational programs and curricula.
  • By March 2018: assessing the effectiveness of clinical pathways to improve treatment for youth and older adults experiencing issues related to opioids and other psychoactive prescription drugs

CCSA has long played the role of convener and connector. We will use our expertise to continue to coordinate collective efforts, connect partners, gather and share evidence, identify emerging issues and address stakeholder needs as per our legislative mandate and as part of the health portfolio.

In addition, the First Do No Harm Executive Council, which is responsible for providing guidance to CCSA on the facilitation, implementation and evaluation of the First Do No Harm strategy, commits to the following measures:

  • As stewards of the First Do No Harm strategy, providing ongoing guidance in the coordination, implementation and evaluation of the strategy's recommendations.
  • Continuing its role of providing expertise and coordination in the complex areas of problematic substance use.
  • In collaboration with McMaster University, contributing to updating the Canadian Guidelines for Safe and Effective Use of Opioids for Non-Cancer Pain and contributing to the development of e-tools for prescribers (e.g., train-the-trainer modules, face-to- face delivery, tool kits).
  • By March 2017: producing a manuscript examining prescribing patterns for short- and long-acting opioids in Ontario using Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences data.
  • By November 2017: promoting the more effective identification and treatment of those addicted to opioids and promoting the resources to address opioid overdose.

"The opioid crisis has shone a spotlight on the need to address changes within the entire system of care for those living with an addiction — and that's what we achieved today. Everyone in the room committed to an action, and those actions are as diverse from each other as the groups represented," said Rita Notarandrea, CEO of CCSA. "What unifies us is our recognition of the crisis as a national health issue requiring immediate and compassionate responses, and our commitment to making things better. We look forward to working with Minister Philpott, Minister Hoskins, those with lived experience, and our colleagues across the country to change the course of opioid use and harms in Canada."

By drawing from the significant efforts of the community on this issue to date, we are all in a good position to fast-track the response to this crisis, and address the immediate emergency, as well as the gaps in the addiction system.


The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse changes lives by bringing people and knowledge together to reduce the harm of alcohol and other drugs on society. We partner with public, private and non-governmental organizations to improve the health and safety of Canadians.

CCSA activities and products are made possible through a financial contribution from Health Canada. The views of CCSA do not necessarily represent the views of the Government of Canada.


SOURCE Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

For further information: Media contact: Kelly Crowe, Communications Advisor, Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, Tel.: 613 235-4048 ext. 276, Email:, Twitter: @CCSAcanada


Organization Profile

Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890