A record number of Canadians have died from drug overdoses this year, including those involving fentanyl. Building on actions taken earlier this year, the Government of Canada is updating its drug strategy to provide for a comprehensive approach that will reduce the harms currently being experienced by individuals and communities.

The Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, announced today the Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy. The new Strategy will replace the existing National Anti-Drug Strategy with a more balanced approach. It restores harm reduction as a core pillar of Canada’s drug policy, alongside prevention, treatment and enforcement and supports all pillars with a strong evidence base.

Minister Philpott also joined the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety, to announce the introduction of Bill C-37 in the House of Commons, which supports the new strategy. The proposed legislation, which would amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA), the Customs Act, and the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, and make other related amendments, is designed to better equip both health and law enforcement officials to reduce the harms associated with drug and substance use in Canada.

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Thumbnail: Flickr CC Samuel Auguste