MONCTON, NB, Aug. 15, 2018 /CNW/ - The opioid crisis is a national public health crisis that is devastating individuals, families and communities across the country. Tragically, nearly 4,000 Canadians lost their lives in 2017 due to apparent opioid-related overdoses. Without increased access to effective, evidence-based treatment options, people with problematic substance use will continue to be at risk for overdose. We must continue to work in a collaborative and comprehensive manner to address this crisis.
On August 10, 2018, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, and the Honourable Benoit Bourque, Minister of Health for New Brunswick, signed a bilateral agreement under the Government of Canada's new Emergency Treatment Fund.
This agreement will result in the investment of more than $7 million—$2.8 million from the Government of Canada and $4.3 million from the province of New Brunswick—to enhance or increase access to:
- quality treatment services, including withdrawal management services and community-based treatment;
- opioid replacement therapy; and
- innovative treatment approaches through an intensive day-treatment service.
With this investment, the governments of Canada and New Brunswick hope to help close the significant gap in treatment services for people who are seeking help for substance use disorders.
"Across the country, the opioid crisis is impacting people from all walks of life. Each life lost is a future cut short and devastates families and communities. The Government of Canada has taken action to address the crisis by increasing measures related to harm reduction, enforcement and prevention, and by addressing the issue of stigma. We continue our efforts by investing to improve access to essential treatment services for Canadians with problematic substance use in New Brunswick."
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
"The opioid crisis currently facing many areas of the country is a concern for our government. We are pleased to partner with the federal government as we work to increase treatment access to address the harms associated with problematic opioid use and overdoses in the province."
The Honourable Benoit Bourque
Minister of Health
"In 2017, we saw an increase of 34% in apparent opioid-related deaths across Canada, when compared to 2016. While harm reduction and prevention are key areas that we must continue to work on, treatment is equally important. Increasing access to evidence-based treatment will support those who suffer from substance use disorders in getting the help they need to live healthier lives."
Dr. Theresa Tam
Chief Public Health Officer of Canada
- In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada committed more than $230 million over five years to address the opioid crisis. This funding includes $150 million for a cost-shared Emergency Treatment Fund. Related investments made by provinces and territories made since January 2016 can also count towards matching of federal funds.
- The latest national data for 2017 estimate that almost 4000 Canadians died of apparent opioid-related overdoses. That is up from a reported 2,978 apparent opioid-related deaths in 2016.
- Activities funded through the agreement between the governments of Canada and New Brunswick will include:
- ensuring that substance use disorder services are based on solid, well-resourced and sound evidence;
- enhancing access to quality care within withdrawal management facilities;
- enhancing outpatient treatment options; and
- increasing clinical resources to enhance access to substance use treatment for individuals while they are incarcerated.
SOURCE Health Canada
For further information: Contacts, Thierry Bélair, Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, 613-957-0200; Media Relations, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, 613-957-2983, [email protected]; Bruce Macfarlane, Communications, Health, New Brunswick, 506-444-4583; Public Inquiries: 613-957-2991, 1-866 225-0709