Unpacking the Canadian Opioid Crisis: Long-Term Facilities & Their Role

The opioid crisis in Canada is impacting long-term care facilities, with profits outweighing staff and care costs, hindering patient care. Measures like the Canadian Opioid Abatement Class Action and Naloxone use are steps forward, but systematic changes within facilities are needed. Prioritizing patient care over profit is essential.

Unpacking the Canadian Opioid Crisis: A Look at Long-Term Facilities and Their Role

Canada is currently grappling with a growing opioid crisis, a public health emergency that has spilled into the streets, affecting communities, families, and individuals alike. One province that is significantly affected by this crisis is British Columbia (BC). This post will delve into a recent Times Colonist article, which highlights an aspect of this crisis that is often overlooked: the implications for long-term care facilities.

The Impact of the Opioid Crisis on Long-Term Care Facilities in BC

According to the article, profits in long-term care facilities are outpacing staff and care costs. This might seem like a positive outcome for these facilities, but the reality is quite the opposite. The surge in profits is not being redirected to improve patient care, particularly for individuals grappling with opioid addiction; rather, it is lining the pockets of facility owners and shareholders.

This growing profit-focus within the care industry undermines the efficacy of recovery programs and exacerbates the already severe opioid crisis in BC. This crisis has led to a sharp increase in opioid-related deaths and growing homelessness and crime rates in the region.

“Canadian Opioid Abatement Class Action” – A Step Towards Rectification

In response to the opioid crisis, the “Canadian Opioid Abatement Class Action” has been launched. It is aimed at holding pharmaceutical companies accountable for their role in the crisis. While this is a step in the right direction, it does not directly address the problems within long-term care facilities.

Key Points Highlighted in the Article

  • Profit margin in long-term facilities in BC has significantly increased, outpacing the costs dedicated to staff care.
  • This profit-centric approach is detrimental to the provision of quality care for patients, including those struggling with opioid addiction.
  • The Canadian Opioid Abatement Class Action is a response to the crisis that seeks to hold pharmaceutical companies responsible for their role.
  • The issues within long-term care facilities are not adequately addressed by the Canadian Opioid Abatement Class Action or other current measures.

Addressing the Crisis: The Role of Naloxone

Naloxone, an opioid antagonist used to reverse the effects of an overdose, has emerged as an essential tool in the fight against the opioid crisis. However, access to and the use of Naloxone in long-term care facilities is not yet universal. Applicants of the Canadian Opioid Abatement Class Action argue that increased availability and use of Naloxone in these facilities could be a lifesaving measure.

Where Do We Go From Here?

The emphasis on profit over patient care within long-term care facilities, as highlighted in the Times Colonist article, is a microcosm of a larger issue within the healthcare industry. To combat the opioid crisis in BC and across Canada, it is imperative to prioritize the needs of the patients, particularly those grappling with opioid addiction.

Initiatives such as the Canadian Opioid Abatement Class Action and broader use of Naloxone are steps in the right direction, but they need to be complemented by systematic changes within long-term care facilities. As we move forward, it’s crucial that these facilities reprioritize and redirect their increasing profits towards creating an environment conducive to comprehensive care and recovery for all patients.


In conclusion, the opioid crisis in Canada, and particularly in BC, is a multifaceted issue with roots in different sectors of society and healthcare. The recent Times Colonist article sheds light on the profit-driven approach of long-term care facilities, which exacerbates the crisis. While measures like the Canadian Opioid Abatement Class Action and the use of Naloxone are crucial, they need to be coupled with systematic changes within care facilities to truly address the problem. As community and civic leaders, our role should be to advocate for these changes, putting patient care above profit.


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