Doctors Against Tragedies in Nova Scotia

In this space, Halifax Magazine shares the story of non-profit organizations and community groups working to build a better city. If you’d like to suggest an organization to feature, email us.
Doctors Against Tragedies is a team of medical students, physicians, and residents working to teach the public about the risks of recreational drug use. The initiative began in Alberta with a group of surgeons and anaesthesiologists in responding to the growing opioid crisis.
Doctors Against Tragedies relies on dark humour, created by playing cards games similar to the party game Cards Against Humanity. Creating an interactive format makes it is possible to start a conversation about a difficult topic. The cards are free to download and print here.
As opioid misuse and opioid-related harms are on the rise in Nova Scotia, the group thought the game could also play a role in our province. Under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Szerb, the Doctors Against Tragedies social awareness campaign was brought to Nova Scotia in 2018, featuring events including the card game, education about opioid use and stigma, and an introduction to naloxone training. This initiative runs thanks to the contributions of Dalhousie medical students and residents and has been funded by Doctors Nova Scotia, the Department of Anesthesia at Dalhousie, and private donors.

The Opioid Crisis

  • There were more than 10,300 opioid-related deaths in Canada from January 2016 to September 2018 in Canada.
  • Some 63 Nova Scotians died due to an opioid overdose in 2017.
  • The majority of opioids misused in Nova Scotia are diverted prescription opioids; the presence of synthetic opioids (such as fentanyl) in our province is low but increasing.
  • Officials have distributed 5,000+ naloxone kits since the beginning
    of 2016.

This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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