Canadian Teen Mothers: The Opioid Crisis Connection

Canadian teen mothers face increased risk of premature death due to opioid crisis, with young Indigenous mothers at higher risk. Study highlights urgent issues.

Canadian Teen Mothers at Increased Risk Amid Opioid Crisis: New Research Highlight

Today, we turn our attention towards a recently covered issue in Saskatchewan, a province in central Canada, that is currently battling it out at the brunt of the opioid crisis. An alarming new study reveals that Canadian teen mothers, especially young Indigenous mothers, are at an increased risk of premature death though suicide or drug overdose. We take a deeper dive into the unique challenges facing these young mothers and how the opioid crisis is worsening the situation.

You can read the original research article here.

Elevated Risk Among Teen Mothers

Analysing a 25-year period, the recent study indicates that teen mothers are almost five times more likely to die early than mothers who first gave birth as adults. Astonishingly, young Indigenous mothers face an even higher risk. Notably, the main causes of death among these teen mothers were suicide and overdose, highlighting the intersection of maternal health with mental health and substance abuse–particularly opioids.

Intersection of Maternal Health and Opioid Crisis

What makes this finding further alarming is its direct correlation with the ongoing Canadian opioid crisis. The crisis, which saw a record-breaking 1,716 opioid related deaths in Saskatchewan in 2020 alone, presents a harsh reality for these teen mothers who are already facing a myriad of other challenges. Besides the enormous societal pressure, these young mothers are also grappling with issues of poverty, homelessness and escalating crime rates–all fuelled in part by the opioid crisis.

Opioid Crisis Exacerbating Conditions for Teen mothers

There’s no denying that the opioid crisis is only exacerbating the conditions for these teen mothers. As underlined by the study, substance abuse, often a product of the socio-economic circumstances, is a key factor leading to premature death among teen mothers. It’s a grim scenario that speaks volumes about the gravity of the crisis we are in.

Naloxone as a Possible Lifeline

On a somewhat positive note, the study acknowledges the potential life-saving role of Naloxone, a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. Ongoing efforts have been made across Saskatchewan to expand the accessibility of Naloxone kits–showcasing the crucial role of community initiatives in battling the opioid crisis. However, the effectiveness of these efforts is yet to be seen.

Impending Opioid Class Action

As we consider these findings, it’s worth highlighting the pending opioid class action lawsuit that could potentially bring about wider systemic changes. The lawsuit, which targets opioid manufacturers and wholesalers, alleges the companies misled consumers about the addictive nature of these substances. The success of the lawsuit could steer the national opioid conversation towards heavy regulation, accountability, and potentially more dedicated support for those impacted–including young mothers.

Key Points:

  • The opioid crisis in Canada is taking a toll on teen mothers, especially young Indigenous mothers, who are at an increased risk of premature death through suicide or drug overdose.
  • The crisis is exacerbating conditions for these teen mothers who already face issues like poverty, homelessness, and crime.
  • Efforts like the distribution of Naloxone kits can serve as a lifeline, but it will take a more systemic approach to see significant improvements. A successful opioid class action could potentially aid this process.


To sum it up, the opioid crisis continues to ravage communities across Canada, with particularly distressing impacts on young, vulnerable populations like teen mothers. The study brings into sharp focus the intersection of maternal health, mental health and opioid-related concerns, shedding light on a tragic reality that demands immediate action.

If one thing is clear, it’s that changes are needed at all levels: societal, regulatory and medical. Whether it’s providing easier access to life-saving medications like Naloxone, or winning the opioid class action lawsuit that could revolutionize the opioid industry in Canada, the time to act is now. Our teen mothers, their children, and our society deserves better.


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