The federal and provincial governments have teamed up to invest in better access to treatment for people with substance abuse disorders.

Ottawa will be providing $5 million in funding that will recruit and train more healthcare professionals to provide opioid substitution therapy, adjusted care and treatment plans, and increase access to treatment for people with opioid or crystal meth dependencies.

“Opioid-related overdoses continue to claim the lives of thousands of Canadians, having a devastating impact across Canada, federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor said in a written statement. “In addition, Saskatchewan has rising rates of problematic methamphetamine use. This bilateral agreement will facilitate and increase access to essential treatment services in the province to help people with problematic substance use. We must continue to work in a comprehensive and collaborative way to address substance use disorder and to help Canadians access treatment and supports.”

“We believe that even one opioid related death is too many,” provincial Minister of Health Jim Reiter said. “Our government has been taking action on this issue by supporting harm reduction, opioid substitution therapy, and expanding take home naloxone programs across the province. We will continue to assess the location and type of services in our province to ensure they are comprehensive and minimize the risks associated with drug use.”

The province has invested $7.4 million into opioid substitution therapy.

Federal MP Ralph Goodale also announced an investment of $1.1 million over three years to support Indigenous children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.