An estimated 17 Canadians die every day from an opioid overdose. Here’s how the federal political parties plan to tackle the crisis

published on September 7, 2021 by Richie Assaly in Toronto Star

Each day since the federal party leaders hit the campaign trail last month, an estimated 17 Canadians have died from an accidental drug overdose.

And more than 21,000 Canadians died of accidental overdoses between 2016, when B.C. declared a public health emergency, and December 2020, according to statistics from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Health Canada says that fentanyl and other new opioids are major drivers of the crisis — it estimates that 82 per cent of opioid toxicity deaths in 2020 involved fentanyl. Researchers also found that drug supplies in Canada are increasingly contaminated with synthetic “ultra-potent” opioids, some of which are more powerful than fentanyl.

COVID-19 has only worsened the situation — Health Canada estimates the country has seen an 89 per cent increase in deaths since the start of the pandemic…

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