( Read time: 1 minute )
The Public Health Agency of Canada says at least 1,460 people died from opioid-related overdoses in the first half of this year. And that number is expected to rise as additional data becomes available from the provinces and territories.
The Public Health Agency of Canada says at least 1,460 people died from opioid-related overdoses in the first half of this year. And that number is expected to rise as additional data becomes available from the provinces and territories. The federal agency expects the number of lives lost due to opioid-related overdoses in 2017 will surpass last year’s figure of 2,861. PHAC says that if current trends continue, opioid-related deaths could surpass 4,000 by the end of the year.
The Crisis In A Nutshell
1) What drugs are contributing to the crisis?
Opioids, a class of drugs derived from the opium poppy plant. They can be legal medications or illegal drugs. Opioid medications such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine. They are effect pain medications for all kinds of medical use but patients can become addicted, especially when there is prolonged use of the drugs.
2) How widespread is the problem?
The United States has a huge problem with close to 50,000 doses per million. While Canada is looking somewhere around 35,000 doses per million. Given the huge difference between the American population size and Canada’s population size, it seems Canada’s situation is indeed grim. The provinces of British Colombia and Alberta, have declared a public health emergency and crisis, respectively, boosting funding for addiction treatment and increasing access to naloxone.
3) Can anything be done?
The first thing is that patients need to realize that those drugs are highly addictive with prolonged use to they should expect to only use them for short-term relief of pain. Even if the pain condition is chronic, the patient needs to investigate other forms of pain mitigation and restoration of wellness.