Resource Round-up: Opioids & harm reduction
Pharmacists across the country are on the front line of the opioid crisis and are often the first health-care provider to observe signs of opioid use disorder. From assessing new and long-term prescriptions to identifying patients with risk factors and educating patients with harm reduction strategies, pharmacists play a key role balancing safety with decreased pain and overall improvement to quality of life.
Our practice resources related to opioids and harm reduction are designed to support you in your role as an opioid steward.
COVID-19 & CDSA exemptions
During the COVID-19 pandemic, temporary exemptions to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) were issued to permit pharmacists to extend, renew, adapt, transfer, and deliver opioid-related prescriptions. CPhA has been helping pharmacists navigate these exemptions with the resources in this section.
- Opioid Stewardship Under the New CDSA Exemptions – Watch the recording of the May 2020 webinar
- COVID-19 and Controlled Drugs and Substances – A chart outlining how these exemptions have been implemented across Canada, by province/territory
- What can pharmacists do under the CDSA during the pandemic? – A series of practice tools using real-life provincial examples to show how pharmacists can manage opioid-related prescriptions under CDSA exemptions:
Health Canada - CDSA resources
- Subsection 56(1) class exemption for patients, practitioners and pharmacists prescribing and providing controlled substances in Canada during the coronavirus pandemic
- Interpretive guide
- Exemptions FAQ
- How to Administer Naloxone Nasal Spray – Video
- Administering Naloxone Nasal Spray – Infographic
- Official Naloxone Nasal Spray Canadian product information
- Frequently asked questions about naloxone – Real-world questions from pharmacists, service providers and community members about naloxone to help you in your practice (Canadian Pharmacists Journal)
- Canadian national consensus guidelines for naloxone prescribing by pharmacists – Recommendations for pharmacists on the use and distribution of naloxone. (Canadian Pharmacists Journal)
- Naloxone and opioid resources – Infographics, counselling checklists, posters and other resources for health-care providers. (University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy & Pharmacy 5in5)
- Pharmacists as Opioid Stewards: A showcase of the evidence – Watch the recording of the October 2020 webinar and read the key takeaways
- An evidence-based framework for helping patients using opioids for chronic pain – Watch the recording of the September 2019 webinar and review the slide deck
- An interprofessional approach to treating patients with opioid use disorder – Watch Part 1 and Part 2 of the webinar recording from March 2019
- How you can be an opioid steward – Watch the recording of the June 2018 webinar
Pharmacists in the spotlight
- Opioid Steward Spotlight Stories – Meet a handful of pharmacists stepping up as prominent opioid stewards in their communities
- How pharmacists can help: A mother’s perspective – A video
- How stigma affects patient care: A mother’s perspective – A video
A pharmacist’s story
Meet Craig Plain, a Vancouver pharmacist on the frontlines of the opioid crisis. His unique practice brings him out from behind the pharmacy counter and into the community to help his patients.
For more evidence, resources, and advocacy tools supporting a harmonized scope of practice for pharmacists to better manage opioid therapy, you can also visit our Opioids & the CDSA page.
Our Resource Round-up series gathers our available resources and practice tools on important health topics to help you in your practice. Check out our other Resource Round-ups on topics like Mental Health and Women’s Health.
Last updated on December 24, 2021