Opioid use and overdose strategy
Based on preliminary data, so far in 2023, 14 Nova Scotians died from opioid overdoses. Government is working to reduce the effects of opioid use and overdose in Nova Scotia.
Get a take-home naloxone kit
Naloxone is a drug that can reverse an opioid overdose. You can get a naloxone kit for free from pharmacies across the province.
You don’t need a prescription or a health card. Go to a participating pharmacy and ask the pharmacist about getting a kit.
Since January 2016, more than 26,494 naloxone kits have been dispensed to Nova Scotians. There have been 207 reported to date.
Get addictions treatment
The Nova Scotia Health Authority operates addictions treatment services throughout the province.
Opioid Use and Overdose Framework
The Opioid Use and Overdose Framework outlines government’s plan to address this important public health issue. The framework includes strategies to reduce the effects of opioid use and overdoses by focusing on 5 main areas:
- understanding the issue
- harm reduction
- treatment and prescribing practices
- criminal justice and law enforcement
Because addiction has complex causes, the framework calls for collaboration between government and partner organizations to address the root causes of addiction, like poverty, childhood trauma and stigma.
Read the framework (PDF 1.5 MB).
What we’ve done so far
Framework progress updates explain what government has done to address opioid use and overdoses. Read the Opioid Use and Overdose Framework Progress Update: September 2022 (PDF).
Opioid toxicity deaths in Nova Scotia
There are 14 confirmed or probable opioid toxicity deaths reported to date in 2023 (as of 30 April 2023).
Note: Monitoring relies on results of toxicology testing which can lag by 1-2 months.
|Confirmed and probable acute opioid toxicity deaths in Nova Scotia|
(Note: Numbers are subject to change; case investigations are ongoing.)
- Nova Scotia Take Home Naloxone Program
- Numbers and rates of substance-related fatalities in Nova Scotia (Open Data)
- Government of Canada: Opioids
Download the Framework
- Nova Scotia’s Opioid Use and Overdose Framework (PDF 1.5 MB)
- Progress Update: September 2022 (PDF 370 KB)
- Progress Update: February 2021 (PDF 322 KB)
- Progress Update: September 2019 (PDF 500 KB)
- Progress Update: August 2018 (PDF 1 MB)