Fentanyl fuelled increase in accidental opioid deaths, Public Health Agency of Canada says

At least 2,923 people died from apparent opioid-related overdoses in the first nine months of 2017, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. 

The data released on Tuesday includes an update on opioid-related deaths in the last two years. 

“Unfortunately, the data released today have confirmed our fear that that the crisis has worsened significantly since 2016, despite the efforts from all levels of government and partners to reverse the trend,” the co-chairs of the Special Advisory Committee on the Epidemic of Opioid Overdoses said in a statement Tuesday.

At least 2,923 people died from apparent opioid-related overdoses between January and September 2017. This is an increase of 45 per cent when compared to the same period in 2016

For the first time, the release breaks down unintentional (accidental) deaths and suicides, which could guide governments in trying to prevent, treat and respond to the crisis, the co-chairs said.

The data also indicate that illegally produced fentanyl and other synthetic opioids remain a growing driver, with 72 per cent of accidental apparent opioid-related deaths involving fentanyl or fentanyl analogues such as carfentanil, up from 55 per cent in 2016.

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CBC | Health News