The opioid crisis in Canada has devasting effects on individuals, families, communities, and our health care systems. Tragically, this crisis has worsened since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a staggering 7,560 deaths recorded in 2021.  This represents a 72% increase over 2020!

To address these alarming and increasing figures, Canadian Red Cross through funding from Health Canada, has developed a free, online course, First Aid for Opioid Poisoning Emergencies. The course takes approximately 45-60 minutes to complete.

Attendees will:

  • Learn about opioids and how they affect the body
  • Explore factors that can affect the risk of an opioid poisoning
  • Discuss ways to reduce the influence of stigma and gain strategies for self-care
  • Understand how naloxone works and how to administer naloxone

The course aims to empower participants to become knowledgeable and confident in how to respond to an opioid poisoning emergency, and also enables them to receive a free nasal naloxone kit upon completion of the course*. Naloxone is a life-saving medication that temporarily reverses the life-threatening effects of opioid poisoning.

* IMPORTANT: If you live in Quebec, you will be given a link at the end of the course to find out where you can access naloxone kits in your area. You must also use the link if you are a current CRC staff member or volunteer.

This course is designed for:

Anyone 16 years of age and older who wants to learn first aid skills and knowledge to prevent, recognize and respond to an opioid poisoning emergency.
This course has no prerequisites.


Learn at your own pace by working through the training materials independently online. Duration: approximately 60 minutes, depending on the individual.

For the full course curriculum click here.