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Canadian Nurses Association supports steps taken by the federal government in addressing the opioid crisis

Ottawa, May 16, 2019 – The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) welcomed the federal government of Canada’s recent actions to address the opioid crisis. Actions such as innovative treatment options as well as investments in point of care projects and research. The federal government invested $10.7 million in new projects that address research, treatment and harm reduction initiatives. They also approved injectable hydromorphone for use as a treatment for adults with severe opioid use disorder and added diacetylmorphine to the federal government’s list of drugs for an urgent public health need. Both medications stabilize and improve the health of people who use opioids.

“CNA is supportive of the federal government’s leadership to address the opioid crisis in Canada. Providing supports for point of care nurses as well as other health workers during this crisis is a top priority for our association and we are encouraged to see the gravity of this situation is recognized” said CNA president Claire Betker.

“We are alarmed at the scale and steady progress of the situation. Since 2016, there have been over 10,000 opioid related deaths in Canada. While illegal drugs and substance use are not new in Canada, the opioid crisis has brought to light the devastating effects problematic substance use is having on individuals, families and communities across Canada. A comprehensive approach is required to address the opioid crisis. An approach that includes harm reduction as well as strategies for prevention and better access to treatment.

“CNA continues to call on all levels of government to work together to increase prevention efforts, access to treatment, harm reduction, and public awareness.


The Canadian Nurses Association is the national and global professional voice of Canadian nursing, representing 140,000 registered nurses and nurse practitioners in Canada. CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.

For more information, please contact:

Eve Johnston
Media and Communications Coordinator
Canadian Nurses Association
Tel: 613-237-2159, ext. 114
Cell: 613-237-3520
Email: ejohnston@cna-aiic.ca