Over 2,800 died from opi­oids in 2016

Penticton Herald - - CANADA -

TORONTO — At least 2,816 Cana­di­ans died from opi­oid-re­lated causes in 2016 and that num­ber “will al­most cer­tainly” sur­pass 3,000 in 2017, the coun­try’s chief pub­lic health of­fi­cer pre­dicted Thurs­day, as of­fi­cials out­lined the grow­ing scope of the epi­demic.

While the western prov­inces have been hard­est-hit — there were 978 il­licit drug over­dose deaths in B.C. and 586 ap­par­ently opi­oid-re­lated deaths in Al­berta in 2016 — the num­bers of peo­ple dy­ing in East­ern Canada are also ris­ing.

“No area of Canada is nec­es­sar­ily safe from this cri­sis,” Dr. Theresa Tam told a me­dia brief­ing from Ot­tawa.

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