The Public Health Agency of Canada is releasing new data on the impact of opioid harm in our nation.
The data shows over 34,000 Canadians have lost their lives due to opioid use in the past six years, with over 5,000 Canadians losing their lives in the period between January and September of 2022.
In response to the report, Canada’s Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Carolyn Bennett released a statement calling for Canadians to come together to end what she refers to as a “national public health crisis”.
“We must do everything we can to ensure that people who use substances in Canada have access to the best possible supports,” writes Minister Bennett.
The majority of opioid deaths are occurring in just three provinces. Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario account for 87 per cent of all accidental opioid toxicity deaths. Saskatchewan and Yukon are also cited as having above-average overdose deaths.
Of all the overdose deaths, over 80 per cent were caused by fentanyl, and over three-quarters of the drugs came from non-pharmaceutical sources.
Fort McMurray – Cold Lake Member of Parliament, and Shadow Minister for Addictions Laila Goodridge says the report shows the current NDP-Liberal approach to addictions has failed Canadians.
“It put more drugs on our streets, leading to more addictions, more deaths, and more despair,” says Goodridge.
“Conservatives will turn hurt into hope because we know that recovery is possible”.
The Government of Alberta operates a 24-hour Addictions helpline at 1-866-332-2322