The Feds Are Giving Almost $40M To Reduce Substance-Related Harms & Say More Needs To Be Done

"Too many lives have been lost to this crisis..."

A person holding a Naloxone kit.

A person holding a Naloxone kit.

Health Canada has announced almost $40 million towards "improving health outcomes for people at risk of substance-related harms and overdose" in the country but notes that there's still more to do.

On Wednesday, July 20, the government announced the federal funding which will go towards 73 projects across the country via Health Canada's Substance Use and Addictions Program (SUAP).

The projects will aim to scale up "prevention, harm reduction and treatment efforts" as well as "access to safer supply programs."

The agency notes that the substance-abuse crisis got worse during the course of COVID-19. In 2021, 7,560 people died due to opioid overdose-related deaths in the country.

"The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that all Canadians have access to the life-saving substance use services and supports they need," they said.

As well, the funding will help people who are "disproportionately affected by problematic substance use or who face barriers accessing services."

"The Government of Canada recognizes that more needs to be done to support people who use substances," they said, noting their commitment to strengthen efforts to address the crisis.

The 2022 federal budget proposed to give $100 million over the course of three years "to support harm reduction, treatment, and prevention at the community level."

Carolyn Bennett, the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, noted that an increasingly toxic drug supply is also a factor.

"Too many lives have been lost to this crisis, leaving too many families and friends to grieve," she said.

"I thank all the organizations receiving funding for their dedication in decreasing substance use harms, preventing overdose, increasing safer supply initiatives, and reducing stigma."

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance use, help is available across the provinces and territories. If you need immediate assistance, please call 911 or go to your nearest hospital.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Sarah Rohoman
Sarah Rohoman is an Editor for Narcity Media focused on Canadian celebrities and is based in Toronto, Ontario.