Greater Sudbury Summit on Toxic Drugs

Summary report (PDF)

Honouring Voices, Embracing Perspectives, Moving Forward: A Summary Report on the Greater Sudbury Summit on Toxic Drugs (PDF) documents the insights and priorities from the December 7 and 8, 2023, Greater Sudbury Summit on Toxic Drugs (Summit).

Summit attendance

Throughout the day-and-a-half event, participants generated over 150 ideas to address the toxic drug crisis. Summit participants identified the need to address structural stigma, enhance collaboration, remove barriers to access, and secure sufficient funding as overarching priorities. They also mapped out the top priority actions for the three streams of the Summit:

Next steps

To action and move this important work forward:

Graphic recordings

The proceedings of the Summit are available through a visual depiction of the conversations that took place. View the Graphic Recordings (PDF).

About the Summit

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—well above the provincial average.

The Greater Sudbury Summit on Toxic Drugs brought 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.

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

Date: December 7 and 8, 2023

Download the Summit Program (PDF, 6 MB).

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

Participants worked 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 was more than an event; it was an investment in our community’s well-being. By sharing unique perspectives and insights, participants played 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.

Download the Summit Agenda (PDF, 111 KB).

Day 1: December 7, 2023


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

Panel discussions

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

Panel 1: Health promotion and stigma

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

Seeing and Resisting the Stigma System in Sudbury (PDF)

Panel 2: Wrap-around services

This panel discussed wrap-around services as a collaborative process (PDF) 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 discussed substance use care innovations (PDF) and best practices in hospital and community and highlighted opportunities to improve health outcomes for people who use or have used substances. 

Group table discussions

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

The first day of the Summit ended with an activity aimed to foster hope and unity.

Day 2: December 8, 2023 

Indigenous teachings

The second and final day of the Summit began 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 (PDF, 729 KB), the complexity of the crisis itself, and evidence-based best practices (PDF). Opportunities and recommendations identified on Day 1 will be outlined. Participants prioritized solutions based on emerging themes and were asked to consider the dialogue and priorities from the Summit to advance actions applicable to their own sector or sphere of control or influence.

Environmental scan

An environmental scan (PDF, 3 MB) and summary of findings (PDF, 548 KB) were developed to inform and guide the deliberations of local leaders and all participants of the Greater Sudbury Summit on Toxic Drugs, December 7 and 8, 2023.

Summit values

Planning for the Greater Sudbury Summit on Toxic Drugs was 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 January 31, 2024