Canadians Call for Holistic Approach to Deal with Drug Use

More than half prefer to focus on treatment that does not rely on opioid replacement therapy and aims for abstinence.

Vancouver, BC [August 14, 2019] – A majority of Canadians express support for policies to deal with drug use in the country that focus on information, “harm reduction” and the goal of abstinence, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, more than four-in-five Canadians (83%) support education and prevention campaigns to deal with drug use in Canada.

About three-in-five Canadians are also in favour of supervised injection sites (59%) and needle-exchange programs (58%).

“Canadians who voted for the Liberal Party (77%) and the New Democratic Party (NDP) (64%) in the last federal election are supportive of supervised injection sites,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “However, only 48% of Conservative Party voters in the 2015 ballot concur.”

A majority of Canadians (57%) support treatment that does not rely on opioid replacement therapy and aims for abstinence.

Conversely, fewer than half of Canadians are in favour of treatment that does not aim for abstinence and relies on opioid replacement therapy (48%).

More than half of Canadians (52%) approve of having a supervised injection site located “anywhere in their municipality.” However, only 38% would consent to a facility of this nature located “anywhere in their neighbourhood” and just 33% would approve of one “a block away from their home.”

Residents of Atlantic Canada and Quebec are more likely to accept a supervised injection site located “a block away from their home” (40% and 39% respectively) than those who live in British Columbia (31%), Manitoba and Saskatchewan (28%), Ontario (24%) and Alberta (22%).


Results are based on an online study conducted from July 15 to July 17, 2019, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.