According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), at least 2,458 Canadians died from opioid-related overdoses in 2016.
Opioid Crisis in Canada
Just in Western Canada alone, the opioid-related death rate was 10 per 100,000 population for Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories and Yukon. The average opioid-related death rate in Canada was 8.8 per 100,000 population.
Although this number doesn’t include Quebec, Public Health Canada says that the rate could increase as more data becomes available. The agency further states that there are many limitations to the data, such as how the opioid-related deaths are tracked in each province. Nevertheless, Public Health Canada states that fentanyl, a painkiller 100 times more potent than morphine, is responsible for the sudden increase in overdose deaths.
Fentanyl Blamed for Sudden Rise in Overdose Deaths
The fentanyl crisis doesn’t seem to be slowing down this year, either, as the painkiller is becoming increasingly accessible. Users can buy it online and have it directly delivered through the mail. Bootleg fentanyl has also begun to appear more often in Ontario and throughout Atlantic Canada. Out of all provinces, British Columbia was hit the hardest by the fentanyl crisis. In the first four months of 2017, the province saw 488 illicit drug overdose deaths, a near-record number. If this rate continues, it will reach 1,400 by the end of this year, a considerable increase from the 935 deaths recorded last year.
A National Crisis
Theresa Tam, interim chief public health officer from the Public Health Agency of Canada, states that:
“This is a national crisis we’re dealing with. Even though the situation is worse on the west coast, in the west-end of the country, everybody needs to be prepared and showing the information over time and the trends is very, very important for continuing that level of preparedness and response.”
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If you suffer from an opioid addiction or know someone, contact us today at toll-free 1-888-608-8410, or fill out the contact form on our main page. We can provide you the right resources and help you overcome your addiction.