‘Mass poisoning crisis’: Canadians need to change how we talk about drug deaths, advocates say

published on May 24, 2022 by Laura McQuillan in CBC News

There’s a poisoning crisis gripping Canada, and it’s killing thousands of people each year.

It doesn’t involve contaminated meat, lettuce or baby formula – the kinds of safety issues that prompt public concern, product recalls, and holding those responsible to account.

It’s a vastly different response to Canada’s toxic drug supply, as more and more people – including children – die from what harm reduction specialists say are preventable poisonings.

“If we had poisoned lettuce that was contaminated with listeria or something, they would pull all of that out of the shop, there would be warnings … but because the substances that we use are unregulated, there’s not a regulatory response,” said Natasha Touesnard, the Halifax-based executive director of the Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs…

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