outbrain
Close  

Fentanyl cited as Canada opioid deaths top 10,000

/ 07:02 AM April 11, 2019

A mural in an alley in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, on December 21, 2016, painted by a man mourning the fentanyl overdose death of his wife, with names of other victims of the crisis. More than 10,000 Canadians have died of opioid-related overdoses since a public health crisis erupted in 2016, according to new data released Wednesday, April 10. 2019.

OTTAWA, Canada – More than 10,000 Canadians have died of opioid-related overdoses since a public health crisis erupted in 2016, according to new data released Wednesday.

The latest figures — 3,200 deaths in the first nine months of 2018 — show that the powerful painkiller fentanyl remains “a major driver of this crisis,” the public health agency said in a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Today’s newly released data are a stark reminder of the importance of maintaining and increasing our efforts to end the epidemic of opioid overdoses in Canada,” Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said.

Historically, opioid overdose deaths — mainly from fentanyl — were concentrated among drug addicts.

FEATURED STORIES

But the crisis is now also striking people who became addicted to prescribed painkillers before turning to street drugs and others experimenting with recreational drugs for the first time.

The provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario continue to be the hardest hit but the opioid epidemic has affected every part of the country.

Fentanyl is considered 30 to 50 times more powerful than heroin and 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

Three-quarters of the most recent victims were male, and the vast majority of deaths were among young and middle-aged adults.

Authorities have stepped up efforts to try to curb the number of opioid deaths, such as widely distributing naloxone kits to treat overdoses.

Ottawa proposed an additional Can$30 million (US$22 million) in funding to fight the epidemic in its latest budget, which is before parliament.

But the annual death toll has continued to rise. /cbb

ADVERTISEMENT

Read Next
EDITORS' PICK
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Canada, deaths, Fentanyl, news, Opioid
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.