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Care not Corrections: Relieving the Opioid Crisis in Canada

In response to escalating rates of opioid-related harms in Canada and the connections with mental illness and addictions, the Canadian Mental Health Association developed an in-depth evidence-based policy paper directed at government, policymakers and health organizations.

Led by its national Public Policy Working Group comprised of mental health policy experts across Canada, and in consultation with its National Council of Persons with Lived Experience, national provincial executive team and national board of directors, the Canadian Mental Health Association reviewed the best available scientific evidence on opioid use and examined drug policies from across Canada and around the world.

The paper is grounded in the widely used “four pillars” substances strategy, but also puts a strong emphasis on upstream measures, namely health promotion, equity measures and accessible service delivery at the community level.

With 86 branches, regions and divisions in over 330 communities, CMHA is the most established and extensive community mental health organization in Canada and a national leader on community-based mental health and addictions service integration and coordination.

Summary Report
Full Report