Board of Health approves the Toronto Model – a comprehensive health approach to end the overdose crisis

When it comes to the overdose crisis, the status quo is broken. Across our country people are dying, and together, Governments have the capacity to stop this.

The crisis is escalating, and every year more lives are lost. In 2020 alone, 531 Torontonians died of opioid overdoses. That was 81% higher than 2019, when 293 Torontonians lost their lives. These are preventable deaths, and it's long past time to treat drug use as the health issue that it is. 

Today, after years of advocacy and months of work on the ground with a broad range of partners and stakeholders, the Board of Health has approved the Toronto Model – a comprehensive health approach to end the overdose crisis.

The Toronto Model is a comprehensive inter-governmental approach to increase treatment and prevention programs, to make harm reduction services more accessible, to provide pathways and referral programs for people who use drugs to access services, and to decriminalize the small possession of drugs.

Today's approval of the Toronto Model is a critical step towards treating the overdose crisis like the urgent health issue that it is, and most importantly, saving lives. I am committed to working with the Federal Government to see it through to implementation as quickly as possible.