Since 2016, overdoses have killed over 17,000 people in Canada.1 For the first time in over four decades, our life expectancy at birth has stopped rising because of the ongoing overdose crisis.2 On top of that, the COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant public health response has shined a damning light on the inadequacies of our current drug laws and policies that are meant to support marginalized communities. Physical distancing requirements and closed borders have been accompanied by an increase in fatal overdoses across Canada. This unprecedented moment in history has laid bare our broken system. In large part, it is due to the stigma and discrimination fuelled by our views of substance use and people who use drugs, which have paved the way for an illegal and toxic drug market to take root in our communities.
To end the loss of life, we must envision a new reality. Getting to Tomorrow: Ending the Overdose Crisis aims to contribute to that change. Working with our community partners, the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition—a national network of organizations and people working toward evidence-based drug policies based on public health, human rights, and social inclusion—is organizing and leading a series of digital and in-person workshop dialogues in communities across Canada to foster conversation and collaboration among community members, stakeholders, and the government.
The website features resources, including backgrounders, a video library, discussion guide, studies and evidence, media guide, media kit, infographics, and more.