The Ongoing Opioid Crisis in Canada: Urgent Action Needed

The ongoing opioid crisis in Canada poses a grave threat as counterfeit opioids gain prevalence, risking more lives and community implications.

The Ongoing Opioid Crisis in Canada: A Call for Immediate Action


Another wave of the opioid crisis looms heavy in Canada, further threatening our vulnerable populations and authorities are voicing their concerns. According to a recent CBC report, officers indicate that counterfeit opioids are becoming increasingly common, and our collective response to this will determine the scale of damage that our communities will suffer.

The Facts of The Ongoing Opioid Crisis

Since 2016, the opioid crisis has seen a rapid escalation due to a combination of multiple factors, notably, the increase in prescription of opioid drugs, and influx of illicit drugs like fentanyl. Generally, opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available with prescription, like oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, and many others. Data from the Public Health Agency of Canada reveals that there were 3,987 opioid-related deaths in 2017 alone, 92% of which were unintentional.

Counterfeit Opioids: An Increasing Threat

Opioids have a high risk for addiction and overdose, especially when obtained outside professional medical supervision. Counterfeit pills marketed as opioids or other drugs not only amplify this risk, they host additional threats as they may consist of other hazardous substances. They often look just like the real thing but may contain fentanyl, a drug 50-100 times more potent than heroin.

Effects of the Opioid Crisis

The opioid crisis has unfortunately led to an epidemeic of addiction, homelessness, crime, and increased demand on our healthcare system:

  • Addiction: Opioid addiction has skyrocketed with the increased availability and misuse of these drugs, both prescription and non-prescription.
  • Homelessness: A significant number of our homeless population struggles with opioid addiction; the disease and the lifestyle feed into each other, creating a difficult-to-break cycle.
  • Crime: Areas severely affected by the opioid crisis have seen a rise in drug-related crimes and violence.
  • Healthcare Crisis: The strain on Canada’s healthcare system continues to increase as more and more people are admitted for treatment relating to opioids.

Countermeasures and The Naloxone Revolution

Authorities have responded to the opioid crisis with several measures such as the opioid class actions against pharmaceutical companies which are accused of downplaying the addiction risk of their products. A more existentially critical measure is the distribution of naloxone, a life-saving medication that can rapidly reverse opioid overdose. This drug, when administered in time, can save lives and provide a crucial window for professional medical help.


Despite the interventions, the opioid crisis is still a massive challenge for Canada. The increased circulation of counterfeit opioids threatens to exacerbate the situation. A multipronged strategy centred on education, prevention, treatment and enforcement is the need of the hour. We must use this opportunity to strengthen and fortify our communities against this ongoing threat.

Remember, the battle against opioid crisis begins with awareness and education. It’s only through understanding the threats and acting on that knowledge that we can bring about real change.

Key Takeaways

The opioid crisis is a significant and ongoing issue that is impacting many individuals and communities across Canada. It has resulted in growing rates of addiction, increased homelessness populations, higher levels of crime, and is straining our healthcare system. The problem is being further compounded with the presence of counterfeit opioids.

In response, authorities have taken measures such as initiating opioid class actions and promoting the widespread use of naloxone to combat overdoses. However, a more comprehensive and integrated approach is needed to effectively address the multifaceted challenges of the opioid crisis.


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