“The Canadian Opioid Crisis and First Nations”

The Canadian Opioid Crisis and its Impact on First Nations

Hello, there! Here’s another interesting article to discuss with you today. This piece, which can be found here, provides insight into the Canadian opioid crisis and how it’s playing out among First Nations communities. Let’s dive in.

Understanding the Opioid Crisis in First Nations

Canada’s ongoing opioid crisis is a well-documented and devastating public health emergency, and it’s been particularly harmful for First Nations people. High levels of poverty, unemployment, and homelessness in these communities have amplified the effects of the crisis.

A study found that in 2016, First Nations people in British Columbia were five times more likely to experience an opioid-related overdose and three times more likely to die from one compared to non-First Nations people. It’s a crisis within a crisis, and it demands urgent attention.

Steps Taken to Combat the Crisis

Despite these staggering statistics, efforts are being made to combat the effects of the opioid crisis across the country, specifically within First Nations communities. This includes:

  • Creating more safe spaces for supervised drug use
  • Increasing the distribution of naloxone kits
  • Promoting education about the risks of opioids
  • Providing counselling and support for those affected by opioid addiction

Hope in Leadership

Leadership is also stepping up their efforts to combat the opioid crisis. RoseAnne Archibald, the newly elected National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, is taking a stand against the crisis. Archibald was announced as the new National Chief on August 19, 2021, making history as the first woman to hold the position. She has promised to prioritize the opioid crisis during her tenure.

The Opioid Class Action Lawsuit

Another significant development is the opioid class action lawsuit. It’s an effort to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for their role in the opioid crisis. Federal, provincial, and territorial governments are seeking billions of dollars in damages from opioid manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.

Should the opioid class action lawsuit succeed, it could provide a substantial financial boost to combating the opioid crisis. This could mean more funding for addiction treatment services, harm reduction efforts, and social programs aimed at addressing the socioeconomic factors contributing to the crisis.


In conclusion, the opioid crisis in Canada continues to ravage communities, with First Nations individuals disproportionately affected. From increased rates of homelessness and crime to the heightened risk of opioid-related overdoses, the impact is nothing short of severe.

However, with the efforts being undertaken to combat this crisis – from harm reduction strategies like naloxone distribution to the opioid class action lawsuit, there is hope that we can stem the tide of this devastating crisis. The election of a new national chief committed to addressing the crisis head-on also adds hope to this crucial battle.

As we continue to learn, discuss and spread awareness about the opioid crisis in Canada, our collective action can lead to impactful change and, ultimately, save lives. Let’s keep the conversation going.

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