Sep 14, 2017

By Christine Ross

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Canada’s opioid crisis is taking up a lot of spaces in hospital emergency wards. According to the Canadian institute for Health, 16 Canadians a day were admitted to hospital for toxicity in 2016-17. That’s up from 13 per day two years earlier, a rise of almost 20 per cent. And the crisis is affecting everyone, including seniors. The last decade has seen hospital admissions for opioid poisonings jump 53 per cent, with more than 40 per cent of that increase occurring in the last three years. The report found an increasing rate of accidental overdoses among young people, which may may be related to use of illicit drugs containing synthetic opioids like fentanyl. The crisis is having an impact on the health care system and taking a toll on harm reduction workers. The country’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says no area of Canada is necessarily safe from this crisis.

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