Large room with people sitting in concentric circles at tables like the UN

Goal 1: Accelerate the adoption of public health and human rights based laws and policies to guide government responses to drugs in Canada

Getting to Tomorrow: Ending the Overdose Crisis will clarify what “a public health and human rights approach to substance use” means: an approach based on the principles of social justice, attention to human rights and equity, evidence-informed policy and practice, and on addressing the underlying determinants of health. The work will increase understanding of how drug policies are formed, the impact they have, and alternative approaches grounded in evidence and compassion.

Naloxone and Narcan kits assembled on a table

Goal 2: Empower decision makers and the public to take evidence-based actions by providing the latest research on policies that could end the overdose crisis

Getting to Tomorrow: Ending the Overdose Crisis is aimed at increasing knowledge and building deeper connections among community partners, which can lead to better decision-making and collaboration within the community. It aims to accelerate health and social responses already underway in communities by building or enhancing networks of people and organizations willing to work together, share resources, and leverage strengths. The three-year initiative will empower politicians with the latest research so that they can make—and support—informed decisions on drug policy.

Two white tents in a park

Goal 3: Engage the public in dialogue on issues related to substance use and drug policy in order to build empathy and collaboration

Getting to Tomorrow: Ending the Overdose Crisis will explore issues related to substance use and drug policy and draw connections between substance use, dependence, and the social determinants of health such as persistent poverty, social exclusion, homelessness, racism, gender and gender identity, and their disproportionate impact on populations. The initiative seeks to support a sense of collaborative possibility within communities and generate frank discussions among community members at the workshops. Meaningful dialogue can build a shared understanding among diverse groups, leading to solutions that can save lives.

“Stigmatization has a perverse double effect: the more society stigmatizes and rejects people who use drugs, the fewer opportunities for treatment will be on offer; at the same time, stigma drives individuals who need help away from those services that are available.” (Global Commission on Drugs, 2017)