Opioid Resources, News, Research & Initiatives

Updated May 2018
New Resource: Trauma Informed Practice & The Opioid Crisis, A Discussion Guide For Health Care And Social Service Providers

This resource focuses on addressing one facet of the opioid crisis in Canada. Research has shown that the vast majority of individuals who struggle with opioid misuse and addiction have current or past experiences of trauma and violence. Those experiences of trauma and violence are often gendered, in that women, men, trans and gender diverse people have different kinds of experiences.

Trauma-informed practice is an approach to care that integrates an understanding of trauma into all levels of care, system engagement, workforce development, organizational policy and cross-sectoral collaborations.

This resource builds upon the Trauma Informed Practice Guide (http://bccewh.bc.ca/)developed by BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services in 2013, which have been adopted and implemented in many health authorities and other jurisdictions across the province.

Updated January 11, 2018

CBC News – Report calls for shift in care for newborns exposed to opioids in the womb Jan 11,2018
During an opioid epidemic that has rocked Alberta and other regions of the country, doctors are urging a shift in care for the youngest victims of the crisis — newborns. Health authorities across the country have reported a rise in the number of babies born after being exposed to opioids in the womb..

Statistics Canada Results of the Survey on Opioid Awareness, November 2017 Released: 2018-01-09
Data from the 2017 Survey on Opioid Awareness are now available. The survey collection was conducted in November and December 2017 and results are being released today, five weeks after the completion of data collection. The information collected by the survey will provide a better understanding of Canadians’ knowledge of the opioid issue and risks, and their willingness to act.

Updated October 24, 2017

This Tip Sheet that has been developed by a committee representing provincial Children Services , AFPA and ALIGN.

The Role of Caregivers in Assessing and Managing Risk Related to Opioid Use – A Tip Sheet
As a caregiver you are the closest person to the day-to-day activities of a child or youth who may be using opioids. You have a key role on the team who together ensure the tasks in the above diagram occur, plans are implemented and reviewed as circumstances change.

The tip sheet is going out to all the members as agencies have all types of caregivers providing service to children, youth and families. Specific Caregiver Training has also be developed and will be piloted for the fist time at the Alberta Foster Parent Conference this coming weekend. Once feedback is incorporated into the training  the manual will be made available for all to use. I will keep you posted as information becomes available. In the meantime please give the TIP Sheet the widest distribution. Questions can be directed to Cathym@alignab.ca

Update September 2017

ALIGN has continued to sit on a working group with the Children’s Services Opioid strategy as it pertains to all caregivers (agency and provincial). Information sheets and a training manual have been developed and is currently being reviewed by ministry staff. Once approved, this information will be provided to all agencies and caregivers.

Related Resources

Alberta Health New Report: “Opioids and Substances of Misuse: Alberta Q2 Interim Report 2017

Alberta Government Release May 31, 2017 The province has established a dedicated emergency commission to help ramp up Alberta’s ability to respond to the opioid crisis.
The province has established a dedicated emergency commission to help ramp up Alberta’s ability to respond to the opioid crisis. The Minister’s Opioid Emergency Response Commission was created with a new regulation under the Public Health Act. The commission’s mandate is to implement urgent coordinated actions to address this public health crisis…

College of Physicians tells members to report youth who use fentanyl to Children’s Services Edmonton Journal May 13, 2017
The bulletin refers to an unidentified Alberta doctor who was reportedly treating a minor, under the age of 18, for addiction. According the college, the doctor had known for three years that the young patient was using fentanyl. But the doctor never contacted Children’s Services.

“In this case, the physician had an obligation to notify proper authorities because of the significant risk of an accidental fentanyl overdose by the minor,” Dr. Michael Caffaro, the college’s assistant registrar and complaints director, told his members.

“I hope this reminds all physicians of their duty to report in such circumstances.”

CDC Fentanyl: Preventing Occupational Exposure to Emergency Responders
The risks associated with fentanyl and its analogs highlight the need for first responders to perform a risk assessment on each crime scene and follow established work practices appropriate for the specific job tasking along with wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) to effectively manage risks that may cause an exposure. Established work practices are written policies and procedures, as well as tactics and techniques, used when fentanyl may be present to minimize the risk of exposure. This DEA website highlights the importance of adhering to established policies and procedures: DEA Issues Carfentanil Warning to Police and Public Dangerous opioid 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl

New Website – Fentanyl Safety for First Responders
The status and trends of the illicit drug trade, which includes Fentanyl, Fentanyl analogues and other potent synthetic opioids and analgesics in Canada are ever evolving. The intention of this site is to provide first responders with accurate safety information related to situations where opioids may be involved.

Alberta government under fire for response to record 343 fentanyl deaths Naloxone kits will be available to all police, firefighters and paramedics, and to members of the public Min Dhariwal · CBC News Feb 8, 2017

Province Expands Naloxone Program, Adds Treatment Spaces February 7, 2017
Alberta firefighters have greater access to lifesaving naloxone kits now that all first responders can administer naloxone by injection.

Additional Related

Opioids and Substance of Misuse Fourth Quarter Report (pdf)

Responding to Alberta’s Opioid Crisis Public Progress Report (pdf)

Opioid Poisoning Puts More Canadians In Hospital Each Year. Here’s What Ottawa Plans To Do Karen Howlett And Kelly Grant The Globe And Mail Last Updated: Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016

Alberta Implementing New Tools to Address Overdoses/Deaths Related to Fentanyl and Opioids Fall 2016

29th Legislature, 2nd Session (2016) Bill 205: Pharmacy and Drug (Pharmaceutical Equipment Control) Amendment Act, 2016

Video – Mike Ellis Members’ Statements Legislative Assembly of Alberta 2nd Session of the 29th Legislature May 9th, 2016

Video – MLA Drever Speaks in Support of Bill 205 – Pharmacy and Drug Amendment Act

Mental Health Advisory committee. Team members continue to focus on Alberta’s fentanyl response, while also taking on the broader mandate of supporting the implementation of Valuing Mental Health: Report of the Alberta Mental Health Review Committee

AMH – Video – Listen and Learn, May 2015 – Fentanyl Awareness This episode of the Listen and Learn series discusses fentanyl, its impact in Alberta, emergency interventions, and prevention/harm reduction strategies.

CAMH Course: CAMH Opioid Dependence Treatment Core Course (Alberta Version)
This course is the foundation of the Opioid Dependence Treatment Certificate Program. The course is designed to promote interprofessional collaboration among the health care team involved in opioid dependence treatment. In this online course physicians, nurses, pharmacists and counsellors/case managers learn skills and review guidelines for effective and safe management of clients receiving methadone or buprenorphine maintenance treatment for opioid dependence.

Stay Informed

Never miss news, events and updates from ALIGN