Special Advisory Committee on the Epidemic of Opioid Overdoses

In December 2016, the federal, provincial and territorial (F/P/T) governments established a Special Advisory Committee (SAC) on the Epidemic of Opioid Overdoses to focus on urgent issues related to overdoses and deaths linked to the use of opioids, including those laced with fentanyl and carfentanil. The SAC is an effective, time-limited mechanism for public health collaboration and information sharing between jurisdictions related to the opioid crisis in Canada.

The SAC is co-chaired by the current Public Health Network Council (PHNC) co-chairs — Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, and Dr. Robert Strang, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Nova Scotia — and includes members of both the PHNC and the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health (CCMOH).

The SAC meets monthly to advance discussions on the opioid crisis in three key areas: supporting harm reduction, improving data/surveillance, and addressing prevention and treatment options.

The Advisory Committee also invites expert representatives from other sectors  to participate in meetings, as needed.