Opioids take 2,816 lives in 2016
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.