Government of Canada: Consultation on strengthening Canada’s approach to substance use issues


The purpose of this consultation is to ask Canadians for new and innovative ideas on how to further strengthen the federal government’s health-focussed approach to substance use issues through the Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy (CDSS).

How to participate

Use the online questionnaire to provide input on possible next steps in the CDSS.

You can also share your story about how substance use has impacted your life or the lives of people you know.  Your stories will help inform our potential next steps in the CDSS, and may be published in our public report on the summary of the input received during the  consultation with your consent (your name will remain anonymous).

Who should participate in the consultation

This consultation is open to all Canadians, and everyone is invited to share their ideas.

In addition, Health Canada would like to hear from:

  • people with lived and living experience with substance use, including those in recovery
  • Indigenous peoples, organizations, communities and leadership
  • substance use healthcare professionals and service providers
  • experts in substance use prevention, treatment, harm reduction and drug regulation/enforcement
  • civil society and community groups working in areas related substance use, or social determinants of substance use
  • substance use researchers and academics

Goals of the consultation

We want to update the CDSS to more effectively and compassionately address substance use in Canada. The use of substances (including drugs, alcohol, and the problematic use of prescription drugs) is an ongoing public health and safety concern in Canada. While many people in Canada use substances without significant harms, these substances can have significant negative impacts on the health and well-being of Canadians and their communities when used problematically.

Key areas for discussion

We are seeking your input on the following topics to help us improve the CDSS:

  • addressing root causes of problematic substance use
  • better addressing the needs of Canadians living with pain
  • reducing stigma around substance use
  • improving access to comprehensive, evidence-based treatment services
  • exploring innovative approaches to harm reduction
  • applying a health lens to regulation and enforcement activities
  • supporting Indigenous peoples
  • addressing the needs of at-risk populations
  • grounding substance use policy in evidence

Health Canada has created a background paper with more information on these key topics.

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