Greater Sudbury Summit on Toxic Drugs

The rates of drug toxicity and mortality in Sudbury and districts remain concerning despite the community’s best efforts. The unregulated drug supply is increasingly toxic and the region currently has one of the highest rates of opioid toxicity deaths in the province—almost three times the provincial average.

The Greater Sudbury Summit on Toxic Drugs will bring together leaders from diverse community sectors, including health, education, municipal, Indigenous, social services, persons with lived and living experience, academia, and more, to review the magnitude of—and response to—the toxic drug crisis in Greater Sudbury.

About the Summit

Hosted by: City of Greater Sudbury and Public Health Sudbury & Districts

Date: December 7 and 8, 2023

This invitation-only event will foster collaboration to inform recommendations to improve our community’s response, create actionable consensus, and commit to concrete next steps that will prevent drug toxicity related harms and deaths.

Participants will work together with a goal of identifying locally actionable processes, solutions, and structures to mitigate harms and ensure accountability.

After the Summit, a report will be published detailing discussions, decisions, and next steps.


The Summit on December 7 and 8 is more than an event; it’s an investment in our community’s well-being. By sharing unique perspectives and insights, participants will play a vital role in shaping key priorities in our collective response to the toxic drug crisis and will guide our shared future. Community leadership plays a pivotal role in aligning recommendations with our unique Northern needs.

Day 1: December 7, 2023


The Summit will begin with 3 presentations from experts to gain a deeper understanding of the crisis. Presenters include people with lived and living experience; family members impacted by the toxic drug crisis; and epidemiologists who will provide the local and provincial context of the crisis highlighting data, statistics, and trends.

Panel discussions

Following these presentations, panels will present opportunities, solutions, and recommendations to address the toxic drug crisis.

Panel 1: Health Promotion and Stigma

This panel will discuss the effects of trauma and stigma on people who use substances and will highlight community approaches that mitigate risk factors and strengthen protective factors to prevent and reduce harms associated with substance use. 

Panel 2: Non-Clinical Supports

This panel will discuss wrap-around services as a collaborative process and the need to initiate or enhance programs that reflect or support the needs of vulnerable individuals in our community. 

Panel 3: Substance Use Care (Harm Reduction and Treatment)

Grounded in a harm reduction philosophy, this panel will discuss substance use care innovations and best practices in hospital and community and will highlight opportunities to improve health outcomes for people who use or have used substances. 

Group table discussions

Following the panels, group table discussions will aim to identify opportunities and recommendations to address the toxic drug crisis. These findings will be presented on the second day of the Summit for consideration as approaches are being developed.

The first day of the Summit will end with an activity that fosters hope and unity.

Day 2: December 8, 2023 

Indigenous teachings

The second and final day of the Summit will begin with learnings from Indigenous perspectives with a focus on solutions.


Three additional presentations will speak to the impact of the crisis on the health and safety of workers, the complexity of the crisis itself, and evidence-based best practices. Opportunities and recommendations identified on Day 1 will be outlined. Participants will identify solutions based on emerging themes. Next steps will be determined along with prioritization, necessary structures, and commitments, underpinning the way forward.

Summit values

Planning for the Greater Sudbury Summit on Toxic Drugs is guided by a set of values and principles, which include the profound respect for individuals with lived and living experience, a deep appreciation for Indigenous perspectives, the cultivation of compassion and empathy, and a commitment to foster collaborative engagement for long-term impacts.

Media kit

View the Summit media kit.

This item was last modified on November 9, 2023