The overdose emergency in Toronto remains a serious public health issue. Each overdose, whether fatal or not, has a devastating impact on people who take drugs, their families, friends and many others who work tirelessly to support for people who take drugs. There are steps your agency can take to help. Find out how your agency can add or adjust services so that people who take drugs feel welcome, supported and safe.

In response to increasing concerns about opioid overdose in Toronto, The Works at Toronto Public Health is providing free online training for staff at community-based organizations to assist them in responding to opioid overdose. The content in this training is also applicable to the general public in their potential roles as overdose responders. This training reviews the signs of opioid overdose, risk factors for opioid overdose, and how to respond to an opioid overdose including how to administer naloxone.

The Works’ overdose training is available as an on-demand module and pre-scheduled live webinar. The live webinar schedule will be updated as new sessions are added. Please click the applicable button below to access the module or webinar registration page.

Launch the Overdose Training Module

Register for Live Overdose Training Webinar

Download the Overdose Training Module as a PDF.

To follow up on training content or request consultation for organizational overdose policy development, contact overdose@toronto.ca.

Eligible organizations (as defined by the Ministry of Health) for the distribution of naloxone will be able to obtain naloxone through The Works for distribution to their clients who are at risk of opioid overdose. For more information on the process and eligibility for an agency to distribute naloxone.

International research shows that supervised consumption services reduce drug overdoses, save lives and limit the spread of HIV and hepatitis C related to unsafe injection practices. In addition to supervised consumption of drugs, individuals using these health services will be provided with sterile injection supplies, education on overdose prevention and intervention, health counselling services and referrals to drug treatment, housing, income support and other services.

Supervised consumption services are a part of Toronto’s Overdose Action Plan.

Find supervised consumption services in Toronto.

 

Ensure your organization complies with provincial policy and legislation that protects people from discrimination and requires a “duty to accommodate.”

  • Ontario Human Rights Code
  • Policy on preventing discrimination based on mental health and addictions
  • Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities 
  • Involve people who consume alcohol/other drugs in developing, implementing and evaluating policies and programs.
  • Involve people who consume alcohol/other drugs on your Board of Directors, staff hiring committees, etc.
  • Develop harm reduction and/or human rights policies for your organization.
  • Create a welcoming, non-judgemental environment.
  • Hire peer workers.
  • Offer low-threshold services, specifically for people who consume alcohol/other drugs.
  • Ensure your intake and assessment forms do not use stigmatizing language or ask for information that is not relevant to the service being provided.
  • Ensure staff and volunteers receive anti-stigma training.
  • Add discussions about stigma and discrimination as a standing item to team meetings.
  • Create a staff group to identify and address service barriers and challenges.