Toronto Public Health proposes Overdose Action Plan

The City of Toronto has experienced a 73 per cent increase in reported overdose deaths over the past decade. To address this serious public health issue, Toronto Public Health is presenting an Overdose Action Plan to the Toronto Board of Health on March 20.  The plan offers a series of actions and recommendations to all levels of government to help prevent and respond to overdoses. 

The report provides overdose prevention and response strategies and recommendations including:

•      Provide support and training to City and community agencies in the development of overdose prevention protocols

•      Ensure substance use treatment is available on demand with options to meet individual needs

•      Address barriers to calling 911 for emergency medical assistance during an overdose 

•      Make supervised injection services available to provide a hygienic place to inject drugs with onsite medical intervention in case of overdose

•      Provide drug checking programs to enable people to test illicit drugs for the presence of toxic contaminants, adulterants or unexpected drugs

•      Develop "real-time" overdose surveillance and monitoring systems for all levels of government.

Community consultations were held in January and February and an online survey was available to gather input from the public on a draft action plan and ideas for further action on overdose prevention. Many stakeholders participated in this consultation process, which focused on what the City and other governments can do to prevent and respond to drug overdoses in the community. The final Toronto Overdose Action Plan combines the knowledge and expertise of these individuals and those working in the field with best practices and international research in this area. 

More information is available http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2017.HL18.3.