Health Promotion

Health promotion and prevention of Substance Misuse involves providing education, awareness-raising activities, and developmental asset building approaches to improve resiliency as well as strengthening local policies.

Health promotion in action:

Reducing stigma

Stigma is the use of negative stereotypes to judge or discriminate. Unfortunately, stigma is one of the largest, most impactful barriers that individuals with mental illness and/or people who use drugs face on a daily basis.

Language

Using language that is respectful, non-judgemental and accurate is important to help reduce stigma. Toward the Heart provides some helpful tips for language that can help reduce stigma.

Lived experience

Substance misuse impacts everyone in the community. The impact can have serious health risks to individuals, families and communities. Learn how we can all play a role to reduce substance misuse. To view personal stories visit https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/substance-abuse/prescription-drug-abuse/opioids/resources-toolkit.html

Education on substance misuse

What are opioids?

Opioids are drugs that may be prescribed to manage pain or can be used illegally for its euphoric properties (feeling high). Consuming too much of an opioid, or a combination of opioids, can lead to an overdose. Even when using prescribed opioids, there is a risk for overdose. For more information about opioids visit Health Canada or the Opioids Resource Hub.

Examples of opioids:

What is fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid pain reliever that is similar to morphine and is estimated to be 50 to 100 times stronger. Fentanyl has been appearing in more common illicit drugs such as heroin or cocaine. The equivalent of two grains of salt can be fatal to a person.

Fentanyl has no taste, no smell and you can’t see it. Individuals may not be aware their drugs are laced with fentanyl. Even a small amount can cause an overdose or be fatal.

What is carfentanil?

Carfentanil is an opioid that is used by veterinarians for very large animals like elephants. Carfentanil is 100 times stronger than fentanyl. Carfentanil is not intended for human consumption. An amount the size of a grain of salt, or 20 micrograms could be fatal to a person.

Carfentanil has no taste, no smell and you can’t see it. Individuals may not be aware their drugs are laced with carfentanil. Even a small amount can cause an overdose or be fatal.

Learn more about street drugs (Publishers Group West) and talking about them, we can begin to find solutions to the challenges that come from substance misuse.

Check out our tips on overdose prevention and naloxone to reduce your risk!

Awareness and Prevention of Substance Misuse

Young children

Youth and teens

Adults and older adults


This item was last modified on October 3, 2018