Addressing Problematic Substance Use

The opioid overdose epidemic has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tragically, in 2020, there were 6,214 opioid overdose deaths in Canada.

To save lives, we need a whole-of-society approach to the opioid epidemic that addresses the main causes and supports people who use drugs with the respect and dignity they deserve. We will continue to take an evidence-based approach to problematic substance use and work with all orders of government to support innovative approaches so that Canadians have access to the care and support they need.

A re-elected Liberal government will:

  • Introduce a comprehensive strategy to address problematic substance use to end the opioids crisis.
  • Invest $25 million for public education to reduce the stigma associated with problematic substance use.
  • Invest $500 million to support the provinces and territories in providing access to a full-range of evidence-based treatment, recognizing that successful treatment is not determined by long-term abstinence.
  • Support provinces and territories in creating standards for substance use treatment programs so that Canadians can access quality and evidence-based support when they need it most.
  • Support the many lower-risk and first-time offenders by reforming the Criminal Code to repeal relevant mandatory minimum penalties and requiring police and Crown prosecutors to consider diverting individuals out of the criminal justice system.