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The federal government is expanding its drug and substance use strategy to try to save more lives and provide more services to people disproportionately affected by Canada’s overdose crisis.

Health Canada says the drug landscape has changed with an increasingly toxic supply since the strategy was first developed in 2016.

It also says the COVID-19 pandemic revealed gaps in the government’s approach and the need for a more holistic, integrated response.

The strategy’s priorities include funding more community-based programs for prevention, treatment and support.

It also includes support for law enforcement, including training on stigma among substance users, and testing out an overdose monitoring tool.

The government has also announced that $21-million from the federal budget will be used to fund 54 harm reduction projects across the country.

Canadian Press health coverage receives support through a partnership with the Canadian Medical Association. CP is solely responsible for this content.

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