Let’s Talk About Opioids

Let's Talk About Opioids .ca logoYour guide to Safe Use, Recognizing Overdose, to Treatment of Overdose and Addiction.

Dr. Matthew Schurter photo

Twitter – @matthewschurter

A Message from the medical director, Dr Matthew Schurter

Thank you for your interest in learning more about opioids and their potentially devastating effects when used improperly.

With increased awareness, a supportive environment at home and in the community, resources for reducing the incidence of opioid misuse, overdose, and death and effective treatment of addiction, together we can reduce the devastation from the opioid epidemic.

Please find some helpful resources and short videos.

Please note, this site is not designed to provide individualized medical treatment, but rather to provide education on the topic.

If you are at risk for opioid misuse, please reach out to those you trust, such as family, friends, community leaders, and your family doctor.

If you are in a crisis or there is a medical emergency, please call 911.

Thank you to our contributors!  Wayne Rodrigues, Tristin Haines, Talia Beaune, Joanne Mattinson

Safe Use section header


Reduce Exposure to Opioids


Store opioids in a secure location


Take opioids only for the reason prescribed


Stop using opioids once acute pain diminishes


Return unused opioids to the pharmacy
(Don’t share opioids)

Reduce Risk of Overdose




  • taking drugs alone
  • taking drugs not prescribed for you
  • combining drugs with alcohol or other drugs
  • taking crushed or broken capsules
  • medications that aren’t from your pharmacy
  • a Naloxone kit
  • to your doctor about treatment


Ontario Harm Reduction Network
OHRN develops online learning opportunities in collaboration with community partners and Drug Culture Consultants.

Planet Youth
Preventing children and adolescents from the initiation of drug use.
Kids Help Phone
Kids Help Phone is Canada’s only 24/7 national service offering professional counselling, information, referrals and volunteer-led, text-based support for young people. No matter what you want to talk about, we’re here to listen. No judgment, totally private, 24/7.

Recognizing Overdose section header

Learn how to recognize an overdose and what you should use to reverse it.

Recognizing Opioid Overdose

Low/no breathing

Can’t be woken up


Blue lips


Small pupils

Ontario Harm Reduction Network
About Naloxone -Naloxone is a medication that temporarily counters the effects of opioid overdose.
Moms Stop the Harm
Moms Stop the Harm (MSTH) is a network of Canadian families impacted by substance-use related harms and deaths.


Overdose Treatment section header


Naloxone can temporarily reverse an opioid (e.g. fentanyl) overdose. Learn how use it.

Photo of the inside of a naloxone kit

Treatment of Overdose








Don’t be afraid to help.
The Good Smaritian Drug Overdose Act can protect you from simple drug possession charges.

Search the map to find the closest pharmacy* or community organization where you can pick up a naloxone kit.
KFL&A Public Health
What to do in case of overdose.
Carry It Toolkit – CMHA National
Addiction Treatment section header
Substance use disorders are complex.   A wide range of treatment options are available.
Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction
Resources Related to the Opioid Crisis ​​​Across Canada, organizations … of a resource on this page does not imply endorsement or authorization by CCSA.
CAMH: The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Canada’s largest mental health teaching hospital and one of the world’s leading research centres.
TED Talks: The Harm reduction model of drug prevention treatment