Opioid-related harms in Canada: 14,000 killed since 2016

Crisis is a 'complex problem that is going to take time to turn around'

A Public Health Agency of Canada advisory committee study on the opioid epidemic has found 14-thousand Canadians have been killed by opioids since 2016; another 17-thousand have been hospitalized for opioid poisonings.

Western Canada continues to be the most impacted region of the country, but rates have increased in other regions, including Ontario.

In 2019, between January and June, 2,142 deaths occurred, of which 94% were accidental (unintentional).

Many of the deaths were caused by illegal drugs being contaminated with toxic substances.

Fentanyl, one of the most potent and addictive opioids, is often mixed with other street drugs without the user knowing the potency of the drug they’re using.

Study authors say the overdose crisis is a complex problem that is going to take time to turn around.