The Opioid Crisis in Canada: How it Affects Our Society
Canada is currently experiencing a severe opioid crisis, a situation that demands immediate attention from civic and community leaders. According to a recent report from Global News, a powerful synthetic opioid has been circulating in Quebec, and its effects are felt across the country. In this blog post, we look into the ramifications of the opioid crisis, focusing particularly on Calgary and the broader Canadian context.
Understanding the Opioid Crisis
Opioids are potent substances used to relieve severe pain. While they serve a critical role in healthcare, these drugs can be extremely addictive, leading to dependence, overdose, and death. The emergency department visit rates related to opioid poisoning have risen dramatically across Canada.
The Calgary Opioid Crisis
The opioid crisis has hit Calgary particularly hard. In the last quarter of 2021 alone, 119 individuals lost their lives to apparent opioid-related overdoses in Calgary. This alarming number has triggered a public health crisis that needs to be addressed urgently.
Impacts of The Opioid Crisis
The ubiquity of powerful synthetic opioids has led to significant social, economic, and health impacts. Some of these include:
- Increased homelessness: The opioid crisis has exacerbated homelessness rates, as addiction can lead to job loss, evictions, and estrangement from family.
- Rise in crime: With the increase in opioid addiction, crime rates have also gone up. People often resort to illegal activities to fund their addiction.
- Healthcare system strain: The health system has to cope with an increased number of overdoses and addiction cases, putting a tremendous strain on resources and personnel.
Addressing the Crisis
The Canadian government has undertaken various measures to combat the opioid crisis. These include the launch of the Canadian Opioid Abatement Class Action, aimed at holding pharmaceutical companies accountable for their role in the crisis. Meanwhile, harm reduction strategies have been set in place, such as increased naloxone distribution – a medication that could reverse the effects of opioid overdose.
To sum up, the opioid crisis is a pressing issue in Canada, particularly in Calgary, with far-reaching social, economic, and health impacts. While the efforts to combat it, including the Canadian Opioid Abatement Class Action and increased naloxone accessibility, are commendable, more needs to be done to address the root causes of this crisis.
We must collaborate to develop comprehensive solutions: improving access to treatment services, decreasing social stigma towards addiction, enforcing stricter regulation of prescription opioids, and addressing socioeconomic determinants that predispose individuals to substance misuse are merely a few areas that require our focus.