Opioid use and overdose strategy
Opioid use and overdoses have been increasing in Nova Scotia and across Canada. In 2020, so far, 45 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 16,500 naloxone kits have been dispensed to Nova Scotians. There have been 151 reported reversals to date.
Get addictions treatment
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.
What we’ve done so far
Framework progress updates explain what government has done to address opioid use and overdoses. Read the 2019 update (PDF 500 KB).
Opioid toxicity deaths in Nova Scotia
There were 57 confirmed or probable opioid toxicity deaths in 2019 (as of December 14, 2020).
|Confirmed and probable acute opioid toxicity deaths in Nova Scotia|
(Note: Numbers are subject to change; case investigations are ongoing.)
Download the Framework
- Nova Scotia’s Opioid Use and Overdose Framework (PDF 1.5 MB)
- Progress Update: September 2019 (PDF 500 KB)
- Progress Update: August 2018 (PDF 1 MB)