Opioid Crisis

Across Canada, the opioid crisis is affecting patients, families, the general public, and the healthcare system. The number of deaths attributed to the crisis is staggering. CSHP is committed to help resolve the crisis.

Joint Statement of Action to Address the Opioid Crisis. CSHP has joined Health Canada, provincial ministries of health, health agencies, health professional regulatory authorities and voluntary associations, and others in publicly expressing its commitment to resolve the crisis. In its statement, CSHP has committed to the following actions:

  • Completed December 2017: Survey its members on their needs for resources on the prevention, education, treatment, monitoring and surveillance, and enforcement practices concerning controlled substances.
  • Ongoing: Advocate submission of a proposal to Health Canada for the designation of pharmacists under the New Classes of Practitioners Regulations with provincial/territorial licensing authorities and ministries of health, which would authorize pharmacists to prescribe and administer controlled substances.
  • Completed December 2019: Issue guidelines for preventing, identifying, and responding to diversion of controlled substances in hospitals and other healthcare organizations.
  • Completed December 2019: Publish a Canadian Medication Optimization Briefing on the safe transitions of care for patients on opioids.
  • Ongoing: Administer an online library of educational and practice-related resources on opioid use, including the updated Canadian Guideline for Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain.
  • Ongoing: Provide feedback on any revisions of Health Canada’s Abuse and Diversion of Controlled Substances: A Guide for Health Professionals.
  • Ongoing: Contribute to the strategic streams of action and recommendations of the National Advisory Council on Prescription Drug Misuse in the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction’s publication First Do No Harm: Responding to Canada's Prescription Drug Crisis Strategy.

Pharmacy Opioid Summit (hosted by the Canadian Pharmacists Association in June 2017). CSHP committed to the following actions:

  • Provide feedback on any revisions of Accreditation Canada’s Qmentum medication management standards in light of the Joint Statement of Action to Address the Opioid Crisis
  • Work with Health Canada, HealthCare CAN, other stakeholders, and CSHP members to identify best practices related to the handling and monitoring of medications within hospitals with the aim of reducing the loss and/or theft of opioid medications.

Consultations: CSHP responded to the following consultations on issues that are closely related to the opioid crisis: