Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 108, Issue 2, pp e205–e207 | Cite as

Zoning out methadone and rising opioid-related deaths in Ontario: Reforms and municipal government actions

  • Carol Strike
  • Miroslav Miskovic


In this commentary, we argue that the use of amendments to bylaws by Ontario cities and municipalities to restrict where and how methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) clinics and pharmacies operate may run counter to efforts to prevent record high rates of opioid-related overdoses. As the province of Ontario seeks to reform the opioid treatment system, it is crucial to understand the structural (e.g., stigma) and treatment system organization factors that drive the actions of municipalities such as those described above. Changes that exacerbate these factors may lead to increased use of bylaws to curtail access at a time when efforts are underway to reduce alarming rates of opioid-related overdose.

Key Words

Drug overdose opiate substitution treatment bylaws 


Dans ce commentaire, nous faisons valoir que l’utilisation par les villes et municipalités de l’Ontario de modifications à leurs règlements administratifs afin de limiter les lieux et les modes d’exploitation des pharmacies et des cliniques de traitement de maintien à la méthadone (TMM) peut aller à l’encontre des efforts de prévention des taux record de surdoses liées aux opioïdes. Comme la province de l’Ontario cherche à réformer son système de traitement des opioïdes, il est essentiel de comprendre les facteurs structurels (p. ex., la stigmatisation) et les facteurs liés à l’organisation du système de traitement qui poussent les municipalités à adopter des mesures comme celles décrites ci-dessus. Les modifications qui exacerbent ces facteurs peuvent entraîner un recours accru aux règlements administratifs pour restreindre l’accès, alors que l’on déploie des efforts pour réduire les taux alarmants de surdoses liées aux opioïdes.

Mots Clés

mauvais usage des médicaments prescrits traitement de substitution aux opiacés statuts 


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dalla Lana School of Public HealthUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada

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