The Canadian Opioid Crisis: Factors and Prevention Strategies

The Canadian opioid crisis demands a multifaceted approach involving housing, mental health services, and accountability for pharmaceutical companies.

The Canadian Opioid Crisis: A Glance at the Underlying Factors and Prevention Strategies

As Canada grapples with the ever-increasing challenge presented by the opioid crisis, it becomes more evident that a multifaceted approach, acknowledging the underlying causes of the crisis, is needed to drive change. This blog post is based on a well-articulated broadcast by the CBC examining the rise of the opioid crisis in the country and the varied, complex factors contributing towards it.

A Snapshot of the Opioid Crisis

The Canadian opioid crisis paints a grim picture of increasing fatalities, the rise in crime rates, and a growing homeless population. Over 19,000 deaths have been linked to opioid use from 2016 to 2020 according to Statistics Canada. This rise in opioid-related deaths is deeply intertwined with homelessness and increased crime rates, all three of which are symptoms of deeper societal issues that need to be addressed.

Contributing Factors to the Opioid Crisis

The article from CBC addresses several crucial factors behind the explosion of this crisis, elaborating on how the following has contributed to its rise:

  • The mass production and prescription of opioid drugs
  • The increased homelessness due to reduced investment in affordable housing
  • The rise in crime rates as a result of deprivation and neglect
  • The culpability of pharmaceutical companies in the over-prescription of opioids

Role of Pharmaceutical Companies

A particularly notable point mentioned is the role of large pharmaceutical companies in this crisis. The opioid class action lawsuit against major drug manufacturers and distributors in Canada highlights this issue. These companies have been accused of misleading doctors and patients about the addictive nature of these drugs, thereby sparking an unprecedented public health crisis.

Addressing the Opioid Crisis

Confronting the opioid crisis requires a comprehensive approach encapsulating various strategies, such as increased support for housing, mental health services, poverty reduction, as well as fostering a better understanding of addiction.

Naloxone as a Lifesaving Tool

One approach that has proved to be significantly helpful in curbing this crisis is the distribution of naloxone kits. Naloxone is a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose, an essential tool in preventing drug-related deaths. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, thousands of these kits have been distributed, undoubtedly saving countless lives.

Investment in Housing and Mental Health Services

Furthermore, it is paramount to address the issue of homelessness by investing in affordable housing and mental health services. These underlying factors, if ignored, only serve to fuel the opioid crisis.

In Conclusion

As we delve into the Canadian opioid crisis, it’s evident that merely focusing on the symptoms doesn’t address the root causes. It’s important that all societal factors — from prescription practices, homelessness, poverty, to mental health — are taken into account in our battle against this crisis.

Key takeaways from this evaluation of the opioid crisis include:

  • A critical look at the role of pharmaceutical companies and the ongoing opioid class action.
  • Investment in affordable housing and mental health services.
  • Distribution of naloxone kits as an immediate life-saving measure.
  • Identifying the link between the rise in crime rates, homelessness, and the opioid crisis.


Understanding the Canadian opioid crisis requires a deep examination of the interlinked societal issues feeding into it. Resource allocation towards affordable housing, mental health services, poverty reduction, and understanding addiction is vital. Equally important is the tactical use of naloxone kits to prevent drug-related deaths. But at the heart of this all lies the necessity of accountability, especially for pharmaceutical companies that have played a role in the surge of this public health issue. As we look towards the future, tackling these foundational issues through an integrated approach is instrumental in combating the opioid crisis.


Contact Us:

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Scroll to Top