The Canadian Opioid Crisis: A Comprehensive Approach to a National Emergency
The opioid crisis is ravaging North America, tremendously affecting both the United States and Canada. Within Canadian borders, this public health crisis has reached proportions affecting countless numbers of individuals and communities, causing devastating impacts both regionally and nationally. A critical approach is beneficial when addressing the vast ramifications of this crisis that reach far beyond the physical and mental health consequences – it also tremendously affects homelessness and crime levels. An arsenal of tools and strategic partners is needed for a comprehensive solution to the opioid crisis, and our southern neighbors have found a significant ally in this battle – OutcomeUs, a predictive health company.
Impact of Opioids
The opioid crisis is not just a case of drugged driving incidents or overdoses in back alleys. It is a widespread issue affecting every corner of our society. It touches families, hospitals, criminal justice systems, employers, and more. Some key points regarding this destructive force include:
- Rising rates of overdose deaths, particularly among young adults and men.
- An escalation in the size and frequency of Canadian opioid abatement class actions, as victims and their families seek compensations for the damages inflicted by opioid manufacturers and distributors.
- A contribution to mounting homeless rates, as the struggle with addiction often leads to job loss and fractured relationships, and the lack of a steady income makes treatment options unaffordable.
- The fueling of crime rates, with individuals frequently resorting to criminal activities to support their addictions.
- The enormous strain on healthcare systems, not only in handling overdoses and other medical emergencies but also in managing the distribution of naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal drug.
A New Ally in the Fight
To address this overwhelming issue, a new approach fusing technology, biometrics, and prediction models can provide considerable help. This is where OutcomeUs comes in.
OutcomeUs is a predictive health company launched in the United States that uses biometrics data and technology to predict, prevent, and treat chronic pain and opioid misuse. Their approach has already demonstrated success in the US, predicting opioid misuse with an accuracy of 86%. This startup uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to analyze a patient’s biometrics data to forecast the possibility of addiction, allowing for strategies to mitigate such risks.
Lessons for Canada
While OutcomeUs is currently focused on combating the opioid crisis in the United States, the methodologies it employs can offer valuable insights to Canada. The fusion of technology, biometrics, AI, and data can be the cornerstone of an innovative and proactive approach towards dealing with the opioid crisis at our own doorstep. By predicting opioid misuse, we can focus on prevention before the problem spirals out of control.
A strategy such as this can help decrease the strain on public healthcare systems, help lower crime rates by reducing the number of individuals resorting to illegal activities for drug procurement, and indirectly contribute to reducing homelessness.
The Canadian opioid crisis is a complex and multifaceted issue, calling for comprehensive and innovative strategies. The United States’ partnership with OutcomeUs, a predictive health company that uses AI and machine learning to forecast opioid misuse, sheds light on a fresh and potentially effective approach. As we continue to battle this crisis, this potent combination of technology and data-driven predictions offers promise. Our focus should shift towards not just treating the victims, but also predicting and preventing the very onset of opioid addiction. This may be the key strategy that allows us to overcome this public health crisis finally.
As we remember the victims that the opioid crisis has claimed and those still struggling to break free from its vicious grip, let us make sure that our approach to this grave issue is as holistic, nuanced, and multidimensional as the problem itself.