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 is providing free training for community agency and City of Toronto staff to assist them in responding to opioid overdose in their agency. Sessions are held multiple times weekly. In this training, staff will learn about the signs of opioid overdose, risk factors for opioid overdose, how to monitor spaces where overdose might occur and how to respond to an opioid overdose including how to administer naloxone.

Register for Naloxone Training

NOTE: Naloxone kits will not be provided to participants.

To request policies and procedures for naloxone administration, contact overdose@toronto.ca

Eligible organizations (as defined by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care) 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 injection services reduce drug overdoses, save lives and limit the spread of HIV and hepatitis C related to unsafe injection practices. In addition to supervised injection, 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 injection services are a part of Toronto’s Overdose Action Plan, which was adopted by the Board of Health in March 2017.

Supervised Consumption Sites:

Overdose Prevention Sites

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.