In April 2023, medical students from the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary met in Edmonton for the student-run Provincial Day of Action to learn more about the opioid poisoning crisis and advocate for improved access to evidence-based interventions in Alberta.

The U of A’s inner city health officers and the advocacy committee representatives from both of Alberta’s medical schools organized a training weekend during which participants had the opportunity to learn from individuals with lived experience and hear the perspectives of those working on the front lines of the drug poisoning crisis. The following day, 18 students from across the province met with MLAs to advocate for changes to the current provincial government’s recovery-oriented approach to the opioid poisoning crisis.

Calls to action included:

  • increasing the accountability of privately-run recovery programs
  • expanding access to evidence-based harm reduction measures
  • prioritizing bridge housing directly from emergency departments

The students are grateful for the funding provided by the AMA Committee on Student Affairs sponsorship program, which helped provide medical students from across the province with the opportunity to gather in Edmonton, learn from speakers with first-hand experience, and embrace the importance of advocacy within the medical profession. 

Banner image credit: Tia Biggs