Opi­oids take 2,816 lives in 2016

Winnipeg Sun - - NEWS - — The Cana­dian Press

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.

For ex­am­ple, On­tario had 865 deaths last year and Nova Sco­tia had 53 as a re­sult of opi­oid-re­lated tox­i­c­ity.

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

Cana­di­ans aged 30-39 ac­counted for the high­est pro­por­tion of deaths re­lated to the po­tent nar­cotics, at 28% over­all, al­though the fig­ures var­ied widely across the coun­try.

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