Despite the opioid epidemic being an issue that has no regard for borders, three provinces in Canada have been the most susceptible, these being Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario according to the Government of Canada. In fact, according to the Federal Government, 90% of all opioid-related overdoses have been recorded in these three provinces. While death rates around Canada are on the rise and continue to remain high, many other provinces are looking to these three for lessons on either what to do or what not to do. This is because these provinces have been attempting to combat this issue for some time now and to a much greater extent than in other provinces. Therefore, in order to portray an accurate picture of the provincial effort against substance abuse one need only observe the policies, actions, and methods of these three provinces.

Overview of the Provinces’ Approach to Substance Use and Addiction

Provincial Mental Health Act and Provincial efforts in tackling Mental Illness (British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario).

While the policies, programs, and legislation in the fields of mental health, mental illness and addiction are the responsibility of both provincial/territorial and the federal government, the organization, governance, funding, and delivery of mental health services and addiction treatment in Canada are primarily the responsibility of the provincial and territorial governments. Each province governs their mental health legislation through the Mental Health Act of its respective provincial jurisdiction. Mental Health Act provides directions and guidance for the authority of the province regarding who can be admitted when the person should be admitted, and how the person should be admitted while making sure the person’s rights are protected by law. The following elements provide a general overview of the role and responsibilities of Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta provincial governments with respect to mental health, mental illness, and addiction.

Ministry Of Health

Provinces’ Health Services Authority

In Canada, health care services are a shared responsibility between provincial/territorial governments and the federal government. However, to better address the root causes of problematic substance use, management, organization, research, and delivery of services for initiatives on opioid overdose prevention and reduction are administered and assigned to the provincial and territorial government’s individual ministry of health.

British Columbia

Alberta Health Services