Canada is in the midst of an opioid crisis.
Opioids are accessible legally and illegally. Opioids such as codeine, fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone, etc. are produced and prescribed often to treat pain.
Data from 2018 estimated that 9.6% of Canadian adults who used opioid medications reported some form of problematic use
Use of Prescribed Opioids
As of June 2020, 11.8% of the Canadian population used prescribed opioid pain relievers
Fastest Growing Overdose Population
Young Canadians aged 15-24 are the fastest-growing population requiring hospital care from opioid overdoses
2. The Overdose Crisis
Overdose deaths due to medical and non-medical drug use are the third leading cause of accidental deaths in Ontario. A large proportion of these deaths can be attributed to opioids. Drug overdose is not confined to one segment of the population, but can affect anyone.
Causes of the overdose crisis include over-prescription of opioids beginning in the 1990s, the increasingly toxic illegal drug supply, the criminalization of drug use, and stigma.
Between January 2016 and June 2019, 13,900 Canadians died from an opioid overdose
Between January and June 2019, one Canadian fatally overdosed every two hours
Overdoses don’t always result in death, but can result in physical and mental trauma
Smaller communities have double the overdose hospitalization rate of Canada’s largest cities
3. The Drug Policy Crisis
Most opioid-related deaths are preventable. Our “war on drugs” approach of the last few decades and the stigma associated with drug use have blocked the widespread adoption of life-saving overdose prevention and treatment policies in Canada. Unintentional deaths from opioid-overdoses are preventable through program and policy change. The overdose crisis is a drug policy crisis.
(January – September 2020)
Were Aged 20-49
(January – November, 2020)
Increase in Deaths
Increase in Opioid-related ER visits
Most overdoses in Windsor-Essex are caused by fentanyl