3,286 Canadians deaths by Opioid-related Overdose
April 12, 2019
Global Korean Post
More than 10,300 Canadians lost their lives between January 2016 and September 2018.
The opioid crisis continues to have devastating effects on the health and lives of many Canadians, their families and their communities.
On April 10, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), on behalf of the federal, provincial and territorial Special Advisory Committee on the Epidemic of Opioid Overdoses, released data on apparent opioid‑related deaths in Canada, as well as data on suspected opioid-related overdoses, based on emergency medical services data, from January 2018 to September 2018.
During the first nine months of 2018, 3,286 Canadians lost their lives to apparent opioid-related overdoses. Tragically, this means that between January 2016 and September 2018, more than 10,300 Canadians died as a resulted of an apparent opioid-related overdose.
In addition, the data show that fentanyl and other fentanyl-related substances continue to be a major driver of this crisis. From January 2018 to September 2018, 73% of accidental apparent opioid-related deaths involved fentanyl or fentanyl-related substances.
The data released confirm that this crisis continues to impact the entire country. These findings are concerning, and the Government of Canada continues to take action to address the opioid crisis by improving access to harm reduction services, raising awareness of the risks of opioids, and removing barriers to treatment such as addressing stigma.
Ongoing collaborative efforts of the federal, provincial and territorial governments to collect and share data are crucial to informing policies and interventions to help those affected by the opioid crisis. Efforts must continue at all levels to address this crisis. A major priority must be eliminating the stigma and discrimination associated with substance use, which act as barriers to treatment. The adoption of equitable and compassionate policies, practices and language, will help ensure that more Canadians can get the help they need and want.
The opioid crisis is a complex health and social issue and concerted efforts across the whole of society are required to address it. This includes all levels of government, stakeholders, partners and people with lived and living experience working on the vital areas of prevention, data collection, stigma, and access to harm reduction and treatment services in order to help save lives.