Exploring the Canadian Opioid Crisis: Causes, Impacts & Solutions

The Canadian opioid crisis is a grave public health challenge, with over 14,000 lives lost in three years. In prisons, one in four inmates seeks treatment for addiction.

The Opioid Crisis: A Canadian Tragedy

The Canadian Opioid Crisis: A Deep Dive Into The Unsettling Reality

The Canadian opioid crisis is one of the most grave and complex public health challenges that the country is currently grappling with. Overdoses caused by opioids have claimed the lives of nearly 14,000 Canadians between January 2016 and June 2019, and the numbers are steadily escalating. Simultaneously, a significant number of people entering the prison system struggle with opioid addiction, adding another layer to this complex issue.

The Opioid Epidemic in Prisons

Facts emerging from a news report by Global News shed light on the often-overlooked aspect of the opioid crisis: the substantial prevalence of opioid addiction among the incarcerated population. Nearly one in four federal inmates in Canada receive treatment for opioid addiction. There is a close connection between opioid abuse and crime which exacerbates the crisis in Calgary and other cities across Canada.

Calgary Opioid Crisis

The Calgary opioid crisis is an acutely distressing part of the larger landscape of the opioid epidemic in Canada. The dual burden of increased crime rates and heightened homelessness due to widespread opioid addiction significantly challenges the stability and safety of the city.

Canadian Opioid Abatement Class Action

The impact of the opioid crisis is vast and reaches every corner of the country, thereby generating responses on multiple fronts. The Canadian opioid abatement class action is one such response, conceived to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for their role in the crisis.

Key Factors and Efforts to Combat the Crisis

  • The high level of opioid prescribing in Canada is a contributing factor to the crisis. As per the International Narcotics Control Board, Canada consumed morphine at a rate of 67mg per person in 2015, compared to an estimated global average of 6.4mg per person.
  • Actions taken to deal with the opioid crisis in Canadian prisons include implementation of maintenance programs such as methadone and suboxone treatment for inmates. However, posing a great deal of challenge is the aspect of continuity of care after release.
  • Naloxone, a medication that can reverse an opioid overdose, is being widely distributed and made easily accessible. This is a critical part of a harm reduction strategy as it prevents deaths from overdose.
  • Alongside lawsuits against drug manufacturers, insurers and pharmacies, the abatement class action against pharmaceutical companies continues in full swing as a response to the crisis.

A Closing Note

In conclusion, the skyrocketing rates of opioid misuse and overdose deaths in Canada highlight the need to address the crisis from multiple angles. It’s critical to create a holistic strategy that incorporates increasing access to harm reduction measures like overdose reversing drugs like naloxone, whilst also improving the continuity of care for inmates after release to mitigate the risk of relapse.


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