Toronto continues to be in the midst of a drug poisoning emergency. Rates of non-fatal and fatal opioid poisoning are increasing. The unregulated opioid supply is now dominated by fentanyl, which has replaced heroin/morphine as the most commonly present opioid in accidental overdose deaths in Toronto. In addition, the unregulated fentanyl supply contains varying concentrations of fentanyl, as well as unexpected drugs such as benzodiazepines.

In response to this crisis, Toronto Public Health has taken action in a number of areas, including opening the city’s first permanent supervised consumption service in August 2017. Located inside The Works, this life-saving health service provides a safer and hygienic environment for people to inject pre-obtained drugs under the supervision of qualified staff.

We also worked with community partners to develop the Toronto Overdose Action Plan, which was endorsed by the Board of Health in March 2017, and updated in June 2019. The Plan includes a comprehensive set of actions for all orders of government to prevent and respond to drug overdoses. Toronto Public Health continues to make recommendations for action to the Board of Health, in particular on actions needed to address the drug poisoning emergency, which has intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic. Reports were considered by the Board in June and November 2020.

Prevent & Respond to Overdose

Learn how to prevent, recognize and respond to an overdose, get naloxone kits, and find services and supports for people who take drugs.

What Your Agency Can Do

Find out what your organization can do to support people who use drugs and how to become a naloxone distributor.

Toronto Overdose Information System (TOIS)

Toronto Public Health provides timely information on overdose activity, with a current focus on opioids.

Supporting People Who Use Drugs

Learn more about substance use and how to be supportive and respectful of family members, friends, colleagues and clients who use drugs.

Integrated Prevention and Harm Reduction (iPHARE) Initiative

Learn about the City’s efforts to reduce the risk of opioid-related deaths in Toronto’s shelter system.

What Your Business Can Do

Find out what your business can do to help create safe spaces for staff and patrons during the overdose crisis.