Over the past few years, opioid usage rates, opioid-related deaths, and opioid overdoses have continued to increase. The Public Health Agency of Canada recently released the number of opioid-related overdose deaths across the country in 2017, which was close to 4,000 Canadians, an annual increase of 34% from 2016 (Public Health Agency of Canada). Specially in Ontario, 1,125 individuals lost their lives due to an opioid-related event, compared to 726 opioid-related deaths in the year previous.
In response, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced its expansion of Harm Reduction services to address the growing opioid crisis, including greater access to naloxone kits and training, increased access to treatment services and supports for people engaging in opioid use, increased number of withdrawal management programs, expanded access to RAAM (Rapid Access Addiction Medicine) clinics, and other supports such as counselling.
For more information on each of these topics, please click the links below:
- Overdose Prevention Training and Naloxone
- Overdose Prevention Sites
- RAAM Clinics
- Improved Prescribing Rates and Education for Doctors